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Moray Eel

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Moray Eel Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
Chordata
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum
Actinopterygii
Order:
A group of animals within a class
Anguilliformes
Family:
A group of animals within an order
Muraenidae
Common Name:
Most widely used name for the species
Moray Eel
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species
Muraenidae
Origin:
The area where the animal first came from
Tropical and temperate waters
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats
Carnivore
Size:
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
11-400cm (4-157in)
Water Type:
Either freshwater, brakish or salt
Salt
Optimum pH Level:
The perfect acidity conditions for the animal
5-7
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for
10-30 years
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
Least Concern
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Grey, Black, Brown, White, Yellow, Green, Blue, Orange
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Scales
Favourite Food:Fish
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives
Coastal and deep waters
Average Clutch Size:
The average number of eggs laif at once
10,000
Main Prey:Fish, Squid, Crustaceans
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Sharks, Humans, Barracuda
Special Features:Sharp teeth and elongated body

Moray Eel Location

Map of Moray Eel Locations

Moray Eel

The moray eel is a large species of eel found in warm and temperate waters all around the world. Despite their snake-like appearance, moray eels (along with other eel species) are in fact fish and not reptiles.

Moray eels are found in both deep and shallow waters in tropical and sub-tropical regions. Although moray eels can be find in cooler waters occasionally, they tend to remain in the crevices deep in the ocean rather than venturing into shore. The largest populations of moray eels are found around tropical coral reefs where they are numerous different marine species found in large numbers.

There are around 200 different species of moray eel than can range in size from just 10cm long to nearly 2 meters in length. Despite their varying size and colour all moray eels are fairly similar in appearance with an elongated body, slightly flattened towards the tail. Moray eels also have large eyes and mouths which contain large teeth.

The moray eel is a relatively secretive animal, spending much of its time hiding in holes and crevices amongst the rocks and coral on the ocean floor. By spending the majority of their time hiding, moray eels are able to remain out of sight from predators and are also able to ambush any unsuspecting prey that passes.

Like many other large fish, the moray eel is a carnivorous animal surviving on a diet that consists of only meat. Fish, molluscs including squid and cuttlefish and crustaceans such as crabs are the main source of food for the moray eel.

The moray eel is often one of the most dominant predators within its environment but moray eels are hunting by some other animals including other large fish like grouper and barracuda, sharks and humans.

Moray eels tend to mate when the water is warmest towards the end of the summer. Moray eel fertilisation is oviparous, meaning that eggs and sperm are fertilised outside of the womb, in the surrounding water, which is known as spawning. More than 10,000 eggs can be released at a time, which develop into larvae and become part of the plankton. It can take up to year for the moray eel larvae to have grown big enough to swim down to the ocean floor to join the community below.

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First Published: 25th January 2010, Last Updated: 9th January 2017 [View Sources]

Sources:
1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 25 Jan 2010]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 25 Jan 2010]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 25 Jan 2010]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 25 Jan 2010]

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