Friday, June 24, 2011

Electric Catfish

Granted that the electric catfish is not an absolutely dynamic fish, spending much of its time lying on the bottom, it can give a painful shock to a human; producing a charge of about 350 volts.

Electric Catfish
While an electrical shock from one of these catfish will not be powerful enough to kill a human, it is strong enough to stun prey. This is significant resulting from the fact that the aforementioned catfish are not equipped to swim swiftly and so prey might effectively break from them.

Electric CatfishThey have an extraordinary organ in their figure lying unequivocally beneath the skin that is answerable for creating the power. This organ extends backward from the head to a point approximately two-thirds along the length of the body. It does not reach into the fins, however. The electrical organ is formed from specialized cells called electrocytes that have evolved from pectoral (chest) muscle cells.

Using Electricity

Electric Catfish
The electrical organ in the catfish’s body is for protection as well as for hunting. It keeps the catfish safe from would-be predators. Rather like radar, the electrical fields can also be used to navigate safely through the murky waters where these catfish often live, avoiding collisions with obstacles. They can also reveal the presence of prey; and other electric catfish. Electric catfish are very territorial and can be aggressive toward their own kind.


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