Electric eel facts

Electric eel (Electrophorus electricus)

Electric eel facts …

Electric eel (Electrophorus electricus)
Electric eel (Electrophorus electricus) at Suma aquarium. By harum.koh cc2.0

Freshwater electric eels

Electric eels are found in South America. Throughout much of the Amazon and Orinoco River basins they can be found in the shallow, muddy waters.
They live in water but have to surface every 10 minutes for air – they get 80% of their oxygen from the air they gulp when surfacing.

Electric eel not an eel

Though they are called electric “eels” they are more closely related to catfish than the common eel. The scientific name for an electric eel is – Electrophorus electricus.

What does an electric eel eat?

Electric Eel
Electric Eel by Scott cc2.0

These eels are carnivorous (meat-eating) fish and use their electricity for both protection and for stunning prey. They can generate a 600 volts and 600 watts electric shock. The organs that generate their electricity take up about 80% of their body.

They also generate a low-level electric charge (about 10 volts) which allows them, through the electro-receptors at the end of their snouts, to find their prey.
As they get larger the animals they eat get steadily bigger. The eels start off eating the eggs and embroys and move on to crabs and shrimps then birds, fish and even small mammals.


The nest of an electric eel is made by the male out of its own saliva.
The females lay up to 17000 eggs in the nest. The first born offspring will sometimes eat the other unhatched eggs and embryos.

Electric Eels are featured in the following books:
25 Top Predators in the World
25 Most Deadly Animals in the World
25 River Monsters
25 Amazon Rainforest Animals

The YouTube video below is a collection of videos about Electric Eels. The list of videos featured is underneath.

View the complete list of animals in the 25 Top Predators in the World book.

The Playlist:

  1. World’s Deadliest – Six-Foot Electric Eel by NatGeoWild
  2. Electric Eel vs. Crocodile by Ben Bleiman
  3. River Monsters- The Heart-Stopper Fish by Animal Planet
  4. 15 Most Dangerous Animals in the Amazon Rainforest by IP Factly



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