How do electric eels hunt?

Discover how the electric eel shocks its unsuspecting prey into submission

The electric eel is a formidable freshwater predator that has the ability to emit a powerful voltage of electricity underwater. This unique shock tactic is used in order to immobilise passing prey in murky surroundings.  Releasing pulses of electricity actually makes hunting fish much easier for the eel. Put simply, the sharp electric bursts have a direct effect on a fish’s muscles, often causing them to twitch or convulse, which in turn gives away their position to the predator. Electric eels are capable of producing such a shock as they have electric organs, which can store power like a battery. Once the eel plans to attack, thousands of specialised electrocyte cells within the organs will discharge, enabling the eel to emit a powerful burst of electricity up to 600 volts!  Due to their poor eyesight, electric eels will use the same technique to ward off predators and navigate in their gloomy freshwater surroundings too, but will emit a lower charge when doing so.

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