Monday, June 27, 2011

Electric Eel

The electrical stun processed by one of these eels is skilled for the purpose of murdering not just a human but even a horse. Unsurprisingly, electric eels are among the most feared fish in South America.

Over 80 percent of this fish’s body volume is taken up by its electrical organs. These are in the form of plates consisting of white, jellylike areas divided by harder tissue. There are about half a million plates in the body and they can generate an electrical discharge of at least 550 volts with a current of 2 amps, producing a kilowatt of power. Each and every stun keeps up for just an exceptionally short time; about three-thousandths of a second. But electric eels can produce as many as 150 shocks in a hour,with no fall-off in output.

Attack and Defense
Electric eels usually hunt at night, under the cover of darkness. They rely on their power output to stun or kill their prey. The might of a stun, which can develop for a separation of in any event 3 feet around the fish, is also a strong defense against would-be predators. These include large turtles and caimans. Large mammals;  even humans; can receive a shock simply because they accidentally frighten an eel.

The release of low-intensity bursts of electricity also helps the eels find their way about, and probably locate others of their own kind. They have special cells on their head that detect electrical impulses.


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