It’s not just Pokemon who have electric attacks, some real-life sea creatures do too! The electric eel has fascinated scientists with its ability to produce up to 600 volts and paralyze its prey. However, little research had been done to determine how those electric attacks actually worked, and the effect they had on their unsuspecting dinner… until now! A zap from an electric eel affects the prey’s nervous system and makes it impossible for the fish to swim away, but that’s not all. One species of eel studied (Electrophorus electricus), which often hunts at night, sends out multiple lower-voltage zaps into the surrounding water. When nearby fish are hit by the zaps they begin to twitch involuntarily, which creates small disturbances in the water. The eel can sense these disturbances and uses them to locate the fish, and voila! Dinner! Scientists were surprised to learn that these shocking eels can use their electricity to search for prey as well as for immobilizing it! I feel a design for a science fiction monster coming on!
Want to learn more? Visit https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/electric-eels-get-their-prey%e2%80%99s-nerves
August 19, 2016