Today at Light Future Art, we’re sharing some fascinating fun facts about eels. Some of these may shock you!
1. There are about 800 species of eels in the world’s oceans, lakes, and rivers. These are divided into 19 families, although some propose that there can actually be a few thousand families of eels categorized. Most eels are migratory and can live in both saltwater and freshwater, but some eels spend their whole lives in the ocean.
2. There are 800 species of eels, but electric eels actually aren’t one of them. Although electric eels may look like the rest, they are actually more closely related to carp and catfish.
3. Eels can vary widely in size. The smallest eel, the one-jawed eel, is just two inches long. The largest, the slender giant moray, is 13 feet long.
4. What do you think of when you hear “snowflake moray eel”? You probably think that this eel is cute, small, and harmless, right? Actually, the snowflake moray eel is the only eel that can eat out of the water. They haul themselves up onto the shore to hunt crabs. This would probably be alarming to witness and has only been discovered recently.
5. Although eels and snakes look similar, they aren’t closely related. There are some sea-going snakes that might be mistaken for eels at a glance, but these snakes actually prey on eels. Sea kraits, a species of amphibious snake, regularly hunts moray eels.
6. Eels propel themselves forwards in the water by creating waves within their bodies. They can swim backward by reversing the direction of these waves.
7. One eel, the New Zealand longfin eel, can swim up waterfalls, both natural and man-made, as well as dams. The highest waterfall recorded that they can swim up was 65 feet tall.
8. Some species of eels make a migration to breed that can be over 4,000 miles long. During this entire journey, the eel doesn’t eat once.
9. Eels begin their lives as larvae, called leptocephali. Leptocephali are flat and transparent and live in the ocean. The next stage of life is the glass eel, which begin to move towards freshwater. From glass eels, the fish then turn into elvers. It is at this point that the eel begins to settle into its adult habitat. After this happens, the elver turns into an adult eel.
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