Can generate a 500 volt electric shock!
Electric Eel Scientific Classification
- Scientific Name
- Electrophorus Electricus
Electric Eel Conservation Status
Electric Eel Locations
Electric Eel Facts
- Main Prey
- Fish, Birds, Small mammals
- Distinctive Feature
- Long body and organs that produce and electric current
- River in the Amazon
- Favorite Food
- Average Clutch Size
- Can generate a 500 volt electric shock!
Electric Eel Physical Characteristics
- Skin Type
- Top Speed
- 5 mph
- 15 - 22 years
- 20kg (44lbs)
- 2.5m (8.22ft)
Electric Eel Images
Click through all of our Electric Eel images in the gallery.
Electric Eels are found in the waters of South America, and are capable of generating a 500volt electric shock through 28ft of still water. The shock that the electric eel produces is enough to harm any large mammal, including humans.
Electric eels can grow up to 2.5 metres and only need to surface for air every 10 minutes due to the eels complex circulatory system. Electric eels tend to live in muddy beds in calm water, eating fish and small mammals.
Despite the name electric eel, the electric eel is actually related most closely to a catfish and not the common eel fish and many electric eel adults tend to be smaller than their eel fish counterparts.
The electricity that the electric eel uses to shock its prey, is produced in pairs of organs that are found in the abdomen of the electric eel. These electricity producing organs take up around of 80% of the body of the electric eel leaving only 20% of the electric eels body free to hold the electric eels vital organs that it needs to survive.
Electric eels are found inhabiting fresh waters of the Amazon and Orinoco river basins in South America, and the electric eels tend to prefer the river floodplains, swamps, coastal plains, and creeks. Electric eels tend to live on muddy bottoms in calm water and in stagnant arms of rivers, where the electric eel spends most of its time hunting.
The electric eel is also known for its unusual breeding behaviour. In the dry season, a male electric eel makes a nest from his saliva into which the female electric eel lays her eggs. As many as 17,000 young electric eels will hatch from the eggs in one nest. These young electric eels feed mainly on invertebrates found on the river bed, however, first-born baby electric eels have been known to gobble up the eggs from batches of other electric eels that were laid only a short time after themselves.View all 26 animals that start with E
Electric Eel FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Are Electric Eels herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?
Electric Eels are Carnivores, meaning they eat other animals.
What Kingdom do Electric Eels belong to?
Electric Eels belong to the Kingdom Animalia.
What phylum to Electric Eels belong to?
Electric Eels belong to the phylum Chordata.
What class do Electric Eels belong to?
Electric Eels belong to the class Actinopterygii.
What family do Electric Eels belong to?
Electric Eels belong to the family Gymnotidae.
What order do Electric Eels belong to?
Electric Eels belong to the order Gymnotiformes.
What type of covering do Electric Eels have?
Electric Eels are covered in Scales.
What genus do Electric Eels belong to?
Electric Eels belong to the genus Electrophorus.
In what type of habitat do Electric Eels live?
Electric Eels live in rivers in the Amazon.
What is the main prey for Electric Eels?
Electric Eels prey on fish, birds, and small mammals.
What are some predators of Electric Eels?
Predators of Electric Eels include humans.
What are some distinguishing features of Electric Eels?
Electric Eels have long bodies and organs that produce an electric current.
How many eggs do Electric Eels lay?
Electric Eels typically lay 20,000 eggs.
What is an interesting fact about Electric Eels?
Electric Eels can generate a 500 volt electric shock!
What is the scientific name for the Electric Eel?
The scientific name for the Electric Eel is Electrophorus Electricus.
What is the lifespan of an Electric Eel?
Electric Eels can live for 15 to 22 years.
How fast is an Electric Eel?
An Electric Eel can travel at speeds of up to 5 miles per hour.
- David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2011) Animal, The Definitive Visual Guide To The World's Wildlife
- Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals
- David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia
- Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species
- David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals
- Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals