Fun Gulper Eel Facts For Kids

Joan Agie
Jan 04, 2023 By Joan Agie
Originally Published on Aug 11, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
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One of the interesting gulper eel facts is that it is one of the weirdest looking creatures found in the deep sea.

The gulper eel is also known as the pelican eel or umbrella mouth gulper eel and is found in the relatively warmer waters of the tropics mostly around Australia. It has a fairly long body, comparatively small eyes, and a tail that produces pink and red flashes.

Crustaceans form a large part of the gulper eel's diet. As of now, gulper eels are not an endangered species. They thrive in the deep-sea regions of the tropical waters of oceans and seas.

There is no specific indication that the gulper eel, Eurypharynx pelecanoides, is an endangered species as they are found in ample numbers across the habitats that they are commonly found in.

Being creatures of the warm waters in the deep-sea regions, these can be very well adapted to the water warming effects of global warming. However, it is quite difficult to predict what could be the negative consequences of further climate change if it is allowed to go on unchecked around the globe.

But for now, the gulper eel seems to be holding its ground well in an overall environment of global warming.

You may also check out turbot facts and blue tang facts from Kidadl.

Gulper Eel Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a gulper eel?

The gulper eel, or pelican eel, is a part of the Eurypharyngidae family and it has a longish type of body with a long tail and a very wide mouth.

What class of animal does a gulper eel belong to?

The gulper eel, Eurypharynx pelecanoides, is a type of organism that belongs to the class Actinopterygii.

How many gulper eels are there in the world?

There is no reasonable count of gulper eels as such. These are not endangered species and are found in various parts of the globe. Would be difficult to put a number to the gulper eel

Where does a gulper eel live?

Gulper eels, Eurypharynx pelecanoides, live in the seas and oceans of the world. The seawater that the gulper eel specifically inhabits is where the temperature of the water is reasonably high.

What is a gulper eel's habitat?

The gulper eel, or umbrella mouth gulper eel, is known to be found in the warmer tropical waters mostly around Australia around North Western Australia, Northern Queensland, and New South Wales. Apart from this, they are also found in the deep sea waters of the North Atlantic.

Who do gulper eels live with?

There is nothing to suggest that the gulper eels stay in schools together. These are rather solitary and not very social creatures as such.

How long does a gulper eel live?

It is estimated that gulper eels die when they reach around 85 years. There could be variations based on their habitat, availability of adequate food, and other such considerations.

How do they reproduce?

Gulper eel bioluminescence is used for attracting mates. They mate like all other eels. At a time two or more eggs are laid by the gulper eel and the eel egg could take weeks to hatch.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of a gulper eel species is Not Evaluated by the IUCN Red List.

Gulper Eel Fun Facts

What do gulper eels look like?

Gulper eels have a long body like most eels and a large gaping mouth.

*Please note that this is an image of a moray eel, not a gulper eel. If you have an image of a gulper eel please let us know at hello@kidadl.com.

The gulper eel, Eurypharynx pelecanoides, is known as the pelican eel for a specific reason.

The gulper eel has an extremely wide mouth and a tapering body that ends in a longish tail.

The loosely hinged wide mouth also has a small pouch-like lower jaw at its bottom which makes it distinctly resemble the mouth of a pelican hence giving it the name of a pelican eel.

Overall the gulper eel does not have a very pleasant appearance which is why it is sometimes also referred to as the monster of the deep-seas.

Its shape is incongruous because of its large, loosely hinged mouth and slender body with a long tail that produces pink and red flashes and comparatively very tiny eyes that make it look quite weird.

How cute are they?

One cannot really categorize the pelican gulper eel as being cute in the normal sense. They are also known as the pelican eel because they have a wide-open mouth with a sac at its bottom. This makes the gulper eel quite odd and not in the remotest sense cute.

How do they communicate?

The giant gulper eel is able to communicate through the bioluminescence that they emanate. Not much is known about the communication habits of the gulper eel though. This is because they are rather furtive creatures that live in ocean depths and much more research is needed to be done on the same.  

How big is a gulper eel?

The gulper eel size is around 30 in (76.2 cm) long and weighs around 20 lb (9 kg). It is thus a relatively small deep-sea creature.

How fast can a gulper eel swim?

Not much is known about exactly how fast a gulper eel moves. However, it moves fast enough to catch its prey. Eels have an aerodynamic body that is sleek and slim. This allows them to move through the water with less difficulty.

How much does a gulper eel weigh?

On an average, a gulper eel weighs around 20 lb (9 kg). This could vary though based on what life stage the gulper eel is at and also individual differences in the weight of the gulper eel.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The males and females of the gulper eel species don't have separate names.

What would you call a baby gulper eel?

There is no specific name for a baby gulper eel.

What do they eat?

The primary gulper eel diet is crustaceans. They have a large mouth and a stomach, but fairly small teeth.

Because of their large mouth and pouch-like lower jaw, they are able to eat a lot in a single opening. This is also the reason why they swim with their mouth open. The gulper eel feeding diet can also include cephalopods, shrimps, and other small invertebrates.

Are they dangerous?

Gulper eels are known to be dangerous to humans. For the most part, they are not consumed by humans as food.

The voltage of the shock is not enough to kill a human being in one go. However, if the human persists and the electric shocks are repeated, it can cause serious damage to humans and even in some cases lead to death.

Would they make a good pet?

Gulper eels would not make good pets. They can be dangerous to humans.

Did you know...

The deep-sea gulper eels are much smaller compared to other eels. These eels are around 2-3 ft (0.6-1 m) long, which is much less than other eels which could go up to even 20 ft (6 m) in length.

The main difference between Atlantic hagfish and gulper eels is that the former is part sea snake while the latter is part eel and part giant pouch.

What animals live with gulper eels?

Because of the extreme water pressure and lack of sunlight deep below the ocean, where the gulper eel lives, there are not a lot of animals who live with them. This is also the reason why they don’t have a lot of predators.

How deep in the ocean does the gulper eel live?

A gulper eel lives deep below the surface of the ocean, at about 3000-6000 ft (914.4-1828.8 m). Since the sun doesn’t shine through such extreme depths, the water appears black in color. However, thanks to the gulper eels' adaptations, they are still able to survive down there with little food.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these electric eel facts and moray eel facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable gulper eel coloring pages.

*Please note that this is an image of a giant eel, not a gulper eel. If you have an image of a gulper eel please let us know at hello@kidadl.com.
 

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Written by Joan Agie

Bachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

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Joan AgieBachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.

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Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi

Postgraduate Diploma in Management

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Sakshi RaturiPostgraduate Diploma in Management

Sakshi has experience in marketing strategy, social media planning, and recruiting industry experts for capstone projects, she has displayed a commitment to enhancing their skills and knowledge. She has won multiple awards, including a Certificate of Appreciation for Creative Writing and a Certificate of Merit for Immaculate Turut, and is always seeking new opportunities to grow and develop.

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