The electric eel gets its name from its shocking abilities! Special organs in the eel’s body release powerful electric charges of up to 650 volts—that’s more than five times the power of a standard United States wall socket!
- Common Name:
- Electric Eel
- Scientific Name:
- Electrophorus electricus
- Group Name:
- Average Life Span In The Wild:
- 15 years
- 6 to 8 feet
- 44 pounds
Although electric eels have the power to be the bullies of the Amazon, they are actually not very aggressive animals. The eel uses its shock to stun prey and keep predators at bay.
Electric eels are nocturnal, live in muddy, dark waters, and have poor eyesight. So instead of using eyes, electric eels emit a weak electric signal, which they use like radar to navigate, to find a mate, and to find prey. Once prey is found, electric eels will use a much stronger shock to stun prey, usually smaller fish.
Electric eels can grow up to 8 feet (2.5 meters) in length. Despite their appearance, electric eels aren’t actually eels at all! They are more closely related to carp and catfish.
The shock of an electric eel has been known to knock a horse off its feet. Now that’s shocking!