Creatures of the Amazon
The electric Eel

The Electric Eel is not a "true" eel, they are only eel like in shape.
The latin name for this amazing fish is Electrophorus Electricus and is famous for it's ability to produce strong electric currents reaching up to 600 volts. This strong discharge is used to stun or kill prey and to ward off potential predators. Up to 6,000 electroplates are arranged like a dry cell in the eel's body. It's internal organs are all in a small area behind the head, the rest of the body is tail. The electrical shocks come from muscles mainly in the tail portion of the electric eel's body. The body of the Electric Eel is similar to a battery. The tail end of the eel has a positive charge and the region around the head is negatively charged. When the eel touches its head and tail to other animals it sends electric shocks through the victims body. When the Electric Eel is at rest there is no generation of electrical impulses.

Electric Eels can grow up to 9 feet in length and weigh over 100 pounds. These creatures are fish eating. The term for fish eating is picivorous. They normally live amongst the roots of riverside trees and they have their own "dinner bell". When hungry they shake the roots of their home tree causing seeds and fruit to fall into the water attracting small fish which the Electric Eel then stuns and eats. Electric Eels do not have teeth which allows them to swallow their prey easier. Electric Eels are long and slender like a snake but they have elongated anal fins which helps them to swim. They are black brown to olive in colour. Males live up to 10 to 12 years and the females 12 to 22 years. Electric Eels are found throughout the Amazon Basin preferring marshy or stagnant areas where other fish find it difficult to live due to the low oxygen levels. The electric Eel should not be confused with eels found elsewhere.

Anthony Giardenelli is an expert at catching Electric Eels. If you are interested in going with Anthony on one of his big game fishing trips , check out his website:
Back to Creatures Page
© Copyright 2012 Iquitos Times
Webmaster: Lalo Calderon