Are Eels Fish? Electrifying Eel Facts You Didn't Know Before | Kidadl

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Are Eels Fish? Electrifying Eel Facts You Didn't Know Before

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Marine animals occur in various forms, sizes, and coloration with diversified life spans.

One of them, fishes, occurs in various species and forms and possess many significant characteristics. Eels are comical-looking fish with no particular category.

This elongated fish takes the shape of a snake with poorly developed fins. Eels are enveloped with slippery mucus allowing them to glide around reefs without getting scratched. Eels have terrible eyesight; as a consequence, they bite fingers of divers unintentionally for feeding them food.

An elver is a baby eel. Eels can be as small as 2 in (5 cm) and as long as 13 ft (4 m) in length and their weight range is around 0.066-55 lb (0.03-25 kg). This snake-like appearing fish can swim forward and backward and can travel short distances on land. Interestingly, eels rest throughout the day and feed at night. This carnivorous animal is known to feast off lobsters, crabs, octopuses, snails, and frogs. Eels have an average lifespan of 5-20 years and they reproduce by the means of external fertilization.

If you find eels interesting, then check out what do eels eat and the largest eel.

Are eels reptiles or fish?

Eels are essentially fish and are flat compared to snakes in appearance. As marine animals, they can respire only underwater through fins and gills. They cannot survive on land. There are almost 800 species of eel. It dies as soon as it gives birth to its baby. The baby takes three years to turn into an adult. Eels also hide in caves and rock crevices and burrow in the sand as a trick to surprise and attack their prey. Some eels chase their prey. Eels have extremely sharp teeth.

Is the snaked-shaped animal a reptile or a fish? Eels are fish, not reptiles. They have long and slender bodies with long dorsal and anal fins. Eels are extremely flexible as their backbone is built with over 100 vertebrae.

Some species of eels navigate up to 4,000 mi (6,437 km) to produce offspring. They take seven months to travel and are fast during the entire journey. The eel is a delicacy in many cultures; it has to be cooked thoroughly as it contains toxic blood.

What is an eel classified as?

Eels start their life as flat and transparent larvae. Eel larvae float on the surface of the sea for dissolved nutrients. Eel larvae transform into glass eels and again into elver before the transformation to adult eels.

Though they look closely related to fish and are classified under fish, a true eel is different from a fish.

The Difference Between Electric Eels And True Eels

An eel is also called a knife fish. It is known as a freshwater fish of a huge class that has electrogenic tissues producing electric discharges. The electric eel is located in South America. It has a thick and scaleless texture. It varies from dark gray to brown in color. The electric eel doesn't have pelvic fins. Its mini and caudal fins lack dorsal fins.

The electric eel species is a member of the group Gymnotiforms and is similar to carp and catfish. The electric eel can grow up to 8 ft (2.4 m) long and weigh 45 lb (20 kg). In contradiction to true eels, they live mostly in salt water. Electric eels are spotted in fresh waters in South America. Unlike true eels, electric eels can breathe air, and almost every 10 minutes, they come to the surface for oxygen.

A true eel is an elongated fish belonging to the sequence Anguilliformes. The longest eel recorded was the moray eel with its slender-like body measuring 13 ft (4 m) long.

Most eels reside in salt water; some eels move from salt to fresh water environments for breeding purposes. The European eel travels 3,000 mi (4,828 km) from European rivers to the Sargasso Sea for coupling.

Here are some facts about the cute eel.

Types Of True Eels

Eels have well-built jaws with numerous and tiny teeth. All eels are predators, feeding on extensive prey, in addition to small fish, worms and mollusks. Freshwater eels consist of 15 species. These species comprise some unusual characteristics in their life such as catadromous, where fish spend most of their life in freshwater and use the ocean for spawning.

The American eel (Anguilla rostrata) is the common eel in North America. It is 4 ft (1.2 m) long. This species is abundantly found in freshwater that is directly connected to the ocean. Freshwater eels are not found on the west coast or the east coast. They are relished as food in various countries like Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and Great Britain.

A moray is a very attractive fish with beautiful coloration. Moray eels have about 200 species that reside in corners of tropical and subtropical waters. Moray eels have a big mouth and poisonous fangs. They are usually found in rocky or coral habitats. Many divers have experienced unanticipated painful moray bites, as moray eels hide in rocky crevices during the day.

Eels of the conger eel species are also true eels that live in tropical and subtropical waters. This eel species is distributed almost worldwide in suitable habitats and attains a length of a little over 9 ft (2.7 m) sometimes. Some species, like the Ariosoma balaerica and the Promyllanter latedorsalis, live in deep waters.

Garden eels are also true eels that look like tiny pencils trying to protrude from the ground. They burrow when frightened. Spotted garden eels have black spots all over and upturned mouths. Male eels have big jaws which protrude out. They inhabit warm parts of the Red Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

Ribbon eels are named for their appearance similar to ribbon. They have varying colors throughout their life. Ribbon eels turn blue and yellow as they turn into adults.

How are electric eels different from other fish?

A fish is known to be a cold-blooded animal living in water. A fish has fins operating its motion, while its gills operate its respiration. A fish lacks limbs, finders, or toes. These animals prefer water habitats only, unlike some eels who can breathe on land for some time.

Eels are marine animals of the Anguilliformes sequence with snake-like bodies. Electric eels act like batteries, producing electric shocks almost equivalent to 500 volts and one ampere, which is considered to be deadly for human beings.

What fish are related to eels?

Eels belong to the Anguilliformes sequence consisting of eight suborders, 19 families, and 111 genera, and last but not least, 800 species. Eels go through development from the premature larval stage to adults. Most eels are predators.

Eels are closely related to catfish and carp. The term 'eel' is well-suited for eel-shaped animals like electric eels, spiny eels, and deep-sea spiny eels. These predators live both in sea waters and fresh waters.

Eel Conservation Status

The snake-like marine animal has unique features, a startling appearance and body, and distinct species diversities. Have you wondered if they still exist or not?

Some eels such as European eels are Critically Endangered yet alive. Though an eel appears nasty, the consequences of its extinction could be nastier on the ecosystem.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for are eels fish then take a look at how do fish reproduce or moray eel facts.

Written By
Deepthi Reddy

A content writer, travel enthusiast, and mother of two kids (12 and 7), Deepthi Reddy is an MBA graduate who has finally struck the right chord in writing. The joy of learning new things and the art of writing creative articles gave her immense happiness, which helped her write with more perfection. Articles about travel, movies, people, animals and birds, pet care, and parenting are a few of the topics written by her. Traveling, food, learning about new cultures, and movies have always interested her, but now her passion for writing is also added to the list.

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