Many fishes produce an electric charge. There is a species of fish known as Electric Eel, scientifically known as Electrophorus electricus. They are mistaken as Electric Eel due to its shape and lack or caudal, pelvic and dorsal fins. It has a long (up to 8ft) cylindrical body with a flat head. Most of its vital organs are present in front of its body or near the head. The rest of its body contains the three electric organs that have a total of 6,000 electrolyte cells which produces, stores and discharges electricity.
But in reality, is there any Electric Eel or just a fish with a heavy electrical charge running in its body. Find out next!
What is the body structure of the Electric Eel supposed to be?
- The giant electrical fish is supposed to have gills, but it takes oxygen through its high vascular mouth. Thus, it often comes to the water’s surface to breathe.
- The fish is covered with thick and grey or brown or black skin. It is assumed that it protects the fish from its electrical current.
- The electric organs are developed in the early lifespan of the fish. The Sachs produces a weak electric charge, whereas the main and the hunter produces high voltage current.
Reproductivity and its lifespan of an electrical fish:
- The female species of the fish deposits around 17,000 eggs in a nest. These eggs are produced by the males during the dry span. 1,200 eggs hatch into a baby eel.
- The male fishes live up to 15 years and the female fishes up to 22 years.
The habitat of the electrical fish:
- The native habitat of the electric fish is the South of America, i.e. in Orinoco and Guyanas river as well as in the Amazon river. It lives in the bottom area of the rivers and the swamps. It can easily thrive in low oxygen waters because of the propensity of the mouth.
How does the electrical fish use its electricity?
The eel uses the electricity for hunting and its defense; therefore, here are some instances of the use of power by an electric fish:
- The eel swims at night and produces a weak electric discharge that emits diminished light. The light from its body helps the eel to be aware of the presence of something in its way.
- The eel releases an electrical impulse to sting other fishes. The fish is toothless. Thus it eats the prey by creating suction and swallowing the meal in one go.
- The electric eel emits a high voltage (650 volts) shock when it is attacked by a predator. The electric shock is quite fatal and can quickly kill other animals.
How does the electrical fish produce electricity?
The nervous system of the fish controls the production of electricity in its body. The electrogenic cell carries a negative charge which has a little less than 100 millivolts. And when the command signal is received, the nerve releases a minute puff of acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter).
A transient path is formed of low electrical resistance that connects the inside and the outside of the cell. Each of the cells works like a battery, here one side is of a negative, and the other is of a positive charge. The cells in the electric organs are oriented in such a way that they are piled in a flashlight. The course of this path runs in just two milliseconds that creates a short duration current in the eel’s body.
There might not be a creature like an Electrical Eel, but there is a creature like an Electrical Eel with great electric energy stored in its body.