Eels comprise a wide variety of fish that tend to appear slim and attractive and you could even say “eel-elongated.” Explore Facts About Eels here!
Some are huge. Others are small and certain species have frightening jaws. Naturalists have been studying their mysterious behaviors for centuries and here are the 11 facts we’ve learned about the fish.
Facts About Eels
Electric eels technically don’t count as eels.
If you’ve caught an extremely long thin fish, it could be an eel, but it could be another species. Eels that really belong to the order Anguilliformes, which comprises more than 800 species. The”electric eels” or “electric eels” of South America aren’t included because they are part of the non-related class Gymnotiformes. The electric eels are genetically related to more affinities to carp and catfish. Shocking, right?
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Moray eels have jaws that are secret.
Anguilliformes are a large group of anguilliform. Moray eels don’t have a lot of suction when they eat things. To drag prey into their gullets, the fish use a different group made up of ” pharyngeal jaws” concealed deep within their throats. They are adorned with sharp teeth. Jaws shoot upwards and grab victims who are caught between the second jaws.
The American Eel’s life cycle is complex.
This is an explanation from the Cliffs Notes Version: American eels ( Anguilla rostrata) are born through eggs laid on the Atlantic Ocean. The Sargasso Sea, a body of mid-ocean waters whose boundaries are defined by various currents – is believed to be the main spawning grounds of this specie (although other breeding sites may be present).
The eels’ first stage is larvae with leaf shapes; later, they transform into 2- to 3-inch-long juveniles, referred to as glass eels. They also discover new habitats in brackish coastal areas in a different stage, called elvers. Later in the last stage before sexual maturity transform into yellow eels. Between three and 40 years later, they turn into silver eels up to 5 feet as they come back to the Atlantic to breed.
European glass eels could utilize magnetic fields to navigate.
Another migratory fish the specie ( Anguilla Anguilla) has the same life cycle as the American eel. It spawns and then is dead at sea in the North Atlantic, spending the remaining time in the coastal regions of Europe. A few studies suggest that young eels (i.e., “glass” eels) can be able to detect the magnetic field and alter their swimming behavior according to the magnetic field. If this is the case, it may aid in understanding how they navigate their routes towards the Sargasso and return.
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Some oceangoing snakes target moray eels.
Apart from their rope-like bodies, the two species do not share much in common. But they do share a commonality. More than 50 species of snakes spend the majority of all time in oceans. Furthermore, certain amphibious species are known as sea kraits frequently hunt moray eels and eat them whole. One researcher has even reported the length of a five-foot sea krait eating the body of a moray that was 4 feet long.
The popularity of Eels in Japan.
Unagi Don is one of the very popular summertime dishes from the Land of the Rising Sun. Its primary component is the roasted eel flesh, which is usually harvested from Japanese or Japanese eel ( Anguilla japonica) or an American species. It’s served with sauce and pepper on rice. Some questions have been asked about the sustainable harvesting of American and Japanese eels. However, each species is listed in the threatened category as per the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Be aware: Conger eels bite occasionally diving.
You can ask Jimmy Griffin, a veteran diver who was attacked by sharp-toothed eels in County Galway, Ireland, in 2013. Conger eels are known to weigh more than 200 pounds and the one in this particular case was approximately 6.5 feet in length. It swam towards Griffin at 82 feet beneath the sea’s surface and took a bite of his face. It caused an injury that necessitated 20 stitches and cosmetic surgery. For divers or fishing enthusiasts, this wasn’t an isolated incident.
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An eel that was discovered in 2011 appeared strange enough to warrant its own distinct family.
Protanguilla Palau is found in the reef caves of the Republic of Palau and has the distinct structure of gills typical of a modern feel. Because the animal doesn’t appear to belong to any known eel family (like morays), scientists created the new family just to be it. Protanguillidae. Scientists believe the ancestral ancestors of Protanguilla Palau were different from the other early eels about 200 million years in the past and followed a distinct evolutionary route.
Waterfalls shouldn’t be a hindrance to this New Zealand longfin eel.
The species is renowned for its climbing abilities young longfins have the ability to climb 65-foot waterfalls and also dams made by humans. The species that migrates is found in the freshwater lakes of New Zealand and rivers.
One moray eel can be fed in the open air.
“Snowflake moray eel” is an adorable name, however, they’re a terrifying predator. The research published in 2021 proves that they are adept at (partially) transporting them on dry land and then grabbing prey as crabs above the waterline thanks to their pharyngeal jaws.
True eels are referred to as “ray-finned fishes.”
They are more than half of the vertebrate species present at the moment. Ray-finned fishes, a group that includes the Anguilliformes – are named for the bone-like, stiff joints which support the fins. This is in stark contrast to the muscular, fleshy parts which are part of “lobe-finned fishes” like coelacanths.