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Electric Eel

The electric eel (Electrophorus electricus) is an electrical fish, and the only species of the genus Electrophorus. It is capable of generating powerful electric shocks, which it uses for both hunting and self-defense.

Size: Up to 91 inches long

Life Span: The average lifespan of the Electric Eel is 15 years in the wild.

Color: Olive - dark brown

Continent: South America

Range: Countries bordering the Amazon and Orinoco rivers and their basins.

Habitat: Fresh water marshy areas or stagnant arms of rivers- areas where other fishes find it difficult to live because of the deficiency of dissolved oxygen.

Food: Other fish, killing them with electric shock

Reproduction: They are oviparous, and both parents look after and protect the young.

Fun Facts: Electric eels can fatally electrocute a horse. The vital organs are located immediately behind the head - the other 7/8 of its body is tail, containing the electrically generating organ. This organ is composed of 5000-6000 elements, arranged like a dry battery. The head acts as the positive pole of the battery, the tail as the negative pole. When the eel is at rest there is no generation of electricity, but when it starts to move it emits electrical impulses at the rate of about 25/sec. During intense feeding, discharges of up to 50/sec have been recorded.These discharges aid in locating food and navigation, as well as the killing of prey. Small animals within range are killed outright, while large mammals may become dazed and drown. A human can withstand one discharge, but would not survive several.