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How Do Eels Make Electricity?


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Channel: Seeker
Categories: Biology   |   Chemistry   |   Science  
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Electric eels are some of the most feared creatures because of their shock, but how does their electric shock work and how much damage does it do?

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Electric eels use high-voltage to track fast-moving prey
“Electric eels are legendary for their ability to incapacitate fish, humans, and horses with hundreds of volts of electricity. The function of this output as a weapon has been obvious for centuries but its potential role for electroreception has been overlooked.”

Electric Eels Concentrate Their Electric Field to Induce Involuntary Fatigue in Struggling Prey
“In a typical attack, eel discharges cause brief, immobilizing tetanus, allowing eels to swallow small prey almost immediately. Here I show that when eels struggle with large prey or fish held precariously, they commonly curl to bring their own tail to the opposite side of prey, sandwiching it between the two poles of their powerful electric organ.”

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