electric eel

The electric eel is long and narrow like an eel, but it is actually not an eel at all. In fact, electric eels are probably more closely related to catfishes. A large adult electric eel can deliver a charge of up to 650 volts—to stun prey, keep away predators, and to help them navigate through muddy water.

Scientific name: Electrophorus electricus
Size: up to 9 feet Habitat: muddy rivers of the Amazon Basin in South America
Diet: adults feed on other fish, frogs, and even small mammals
Characteristics: long, olive-brown, narrow fish with smooth, scaleless skin
Significance: uses electric charges to navigate in murky water and to stun prey or predators

Image credits: main image: courtesy of Alan Hill, Fishbase.