Eels are snakelike creatures, with long bodies, found in freshwater as well as salt water. Unlike land snakes, eels usually lack scales on their body. However, a few species can be found with tiny scales along their bodies. More than 100 vertebrae are found in eel's spine. It makes the creature very flexible. True eels are an order in themselves (Anguilliformes), which consists of four suborders, 19 families, 110 genera and approximately 800 species. Genomic studies indicate that they represent a monophyletic group that originated among the deep-sea eels. Some eels dwell in water as deep as 4,000 meters. The most common type of eel is the Green Moray. Eels are mostly predators. Pollution, changes in the environment, over-fishing, drainage and hydro development are the main reasons for the reduction in eel population. Want to know more? Read through the following lines to know some more interesting and amazing information about Eels.
Facts About Eel
Super order: Elopomorpha
Length: 5 feet to 13 feet
Weight: 95 gm to 215 gm
Lifespan: 85 years
Interesting & Amazing Information On Eel
- Eels live near rocks and little caves. Most true eels prefer to dwell in shallow waters or hide at the bottom layer of the ocean, sometimes in holes. These holes are called eel pits.
- Eels begin their life as flat and transparent larvae, called leptocephali. This eel has sharp teeth and bites. Eel larvae drift in the surface waters of the sea, feeding on small particles called marine snow.
- Eels possess no pelvic fins, and many species also lack pectoral fins. The dorsal and anal fins are fused with the caudal or tail fin, to form a single ribbon running along much of the length of the creature.
- Some species of eels travel up to 4,000 miles to breed, a journey, which takes up to seven months. During this time, they use their gills to get oxygen from the water.
- It is believed that eels do not eat during their long journey. Instead, they use their body fat and muscle tissue for nutrients.
- Adult eels die after breeding. Their larvae begin their own journey by floating on ocean currents. It takes three years for the young eels to grow to maturity.
- Eels can move themselves over wet grass and dig through wet sand to reach upstream.
- Eels develop pigmentation in freshwater, turn into elvers i.e. young eels and feed on creatures like small crustaceans, worms and insects.
- They grow up in 10 or 14 years, to a length of 60 to 80 cm. At this stage, they are known as yellow eels, because of their golden pigmentation.
- Eel is a delicacy in many cultures. Freshwater eels and marine eels are commonly used in Japanese cuisine. Eels are also very popular in Chinese cuisine, and are prepared in many different ways.
- Eel blood is toxic to humans and other mammals, but the cooking procedure and human digestive process destroy its toxic protein.
- Eels stretch themselves into holes and cracks to hunt for their prey. Some eels are stealthy and even hide between reefs or in the sand to suddenly attack.
- Eels can swim forwards and backwards.
- The main species of eels include moray eels, conger eels, American eels and European eels.
- Eels are carnivores and they feed on fish, octopuses, crabs, lobsters, mussels, snails and frogs.
- Most eels have scales that are rooted beneath their thick skin.
- Eels feed at nighttime and rest during the daytime.
- These aquatic creatures depend on their excellent sense of smell to hunt for their prey.