Animal Database

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Animal Database
Animal Database
Electric Eel
Elec Eel
Range Amazon
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Gymnotiformes
Family Gymnotidae
Genus Electrophorus
Species E. electricus
Conservation Status
Least Concern

The Electric Eel is a species from the Electrophorus genus. The word "eel" comes from the Middle English word ele, which comes from Old English ǣl which is ultimately from Proto-Germanic *ēlaz which is of unknown origin. It most likely comes from an obfuscated substrate origin from a Neolithic language. It lives in fresh waters of the Amazon and Orinoco Rivers, the basins in South America, in river floodplains, swamps, creeks and coastal plains.


Electric eels have an elongated, cylindrical body, typically growing to about 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) in length, and 20 kilograms (44 lb) in weight, making them the largest species of the gymnotiformes.


It is capable of generating powerful electric shocks of up to 600 volts, which it uses for both hunting and self-defense. The coloration is dark gray-brown on the back and yellow or orange on the belly. Mature males have a darker color on the belly. They have no scales. The mouth is square, and positioned right at the end of the snout. The anal fin extends the length of the body to the tip of the tail. As in other ostariophysan fishes, the swim bladder has two chambers. The anterior chamber is connected to the inner ear by a series of small bones derived from neck vertebrae called the Weberian apparatus which greatly enhances their hearing capability. The posterior chamber extends along the whole length of the body and is used in buoyancy.


Adults eat Fish Including Phiranhas, Amazon Perch, Guppy and Smaller Fish and Mammals including Water Rats, Mice, Capybaras and Horse YOUNG eats crayfish, crabs and tiny fish they sting their prey they lie and wait. They have about 5,000 volts strong enough to kill a horse


15 years in the wild.



  • Despite its name, it is not an eel; but rather a knifefish.