Electric eels can become quite large and some as shockingly (no pun intended) reached length of over 5 feet and can weigh in at around 40-45 lbs. Both male and the female eel are capable of generating electricity. The male eels coloring seems to distinguish from the female electric eel because of its darker shade. So what do humans and electric eels have in common? Well for starters electric eels breath in air instead of water. Most mammals do that, even the aquatic mammals like dolphins and whales. And just like how aquatic mammals are able to breath under water, the electric eel adapts the same property by a process I like to call air storage. It is just like a human diver with air tanks on his back which allows him to stay lengthy time under water. The electric eel will gulp up air every 10-12 minutes and use that stored air for breathing. Although the electric eel is famous for electricity. It has a very outstanding sense of hearing which allows it to detect the slightest ripple in water.
What Do The Eels Eat
Eels are ambush predators and will just hide and wait for a unsuspecting prey to come by and then launch their sneaky, fast and deadly attack. They will eat fish, squids, octopuses and just about anything smaller it things is tasty.
The Eels Lifespan
If you are talking about the father of time you are talking about the eel. Eels can live as long from 55-60 years. Yes, they outlive many of us humans. There are plenty grandma and grandpa shockers swimming around out there.
How The Electric Eel Generates Electricity
So how does a fish generate electricity and why can't other fish do the same. The shocking answer to that is in the genetic make up of this fish. The eel has 3 sets of 2 types of organ. The main organ is called the hunter organ and the second organ is called the sachs organ. These organs take up a rather large amount of space in the body. These two organs allow the eel to generate both low voltage and high voltage shocks.
The electric eel is known to use their ability to discharge electric shocks to defend itself and also to hunt by stunning the prey or the attacker while it escapes or attacks. However the electric eel also has the ability to generate a very low electric field around it that it uses to track prey and also avoid confrontation with bigger animals. This low energy field is generated by the sachs organ.
The electric eel can generate up to 600 watts of energy. That's more than your wall socket so you remember when you were a kid and your mom would tell you not to put anything in the wall socket because it could kill you? Well the eel is a bit more deadly than that. This electric shock is generated by the hunter organ. The hunter organ can recharge around once an hour without the eel getting exhausted. When an eel is a juvenile it can only generate around 100 watts of energy but this is often more than enough to avoid predators. Despite what you might have seen the electric eel does not have only 6000 cells that generate electricity that have 6000 electroplates.
One of the more curious things about an electric eel is how it breeds. They breed during the dry season in south America and the male creates a nest made out of its own saliva. Then the female lays her eggs in the nest. Through this process up to 17,000 babies can come out of this. But as with nature, the animals that are at risk to be consumed easily will have outstanding number of offspring to mitigate against all being eaten or lost. Not all of these 17,000 baby electric eels will live to see the second or third day.
So the next time you pounce upon an electrical eel, you better make sure you have a lamp to use up some of that free current he may just pass on to you.