In a recent study meant to uncover more facts about electrical eels, scientist have uncovered a somewhat shocking new fact. Curling serpents delivers high voltage to prey in order to immobilize it in water.
Researchers have discovered that the electrical eel is capable of curling around its prey. This move not only ensures a successful hunting, but, as the study shows, it can also double the voltage value of each electrical shock. Normally, electrical eels use this reflex in order to hunt small fish, but they also use it in order to defend themselves and fend of nasty predators.
Kenneth Catania, a biologist from the Vanderbilt University said that although the serpent has been studied for many years, it still has the abilities to surprise researchers with newly-discovered abilities.
According to modern scientific literature, the electric eel is an electric fish, and apparently it seems to be one of a kind. The sea serpent is capable of generating a high-voltage electrical current, capable of paralyzing its prey. The electrical shock measures up to 600 volts. That’s three times more powerful than a standard home power outlet.
The electrical eels has a cylindrical-type body and an adult can measure up to 2 meters in length and has three pairs of organs, situated all over the abdomen, that are capable of producing electricity. The eel is capable of producing both low yield electrical shocks and high voltage shocks.
All of its organs are stacked up with electrical storage cell called electrocytes, each one being able to ensure a constant flow of ion currents. Basically, when an electrical eel detects the presence of a potential prey nearby, its brain sends a signal to the electrocytes. This, in term, leads to the opening of the ion channels. Sodium flows through the ion channels causing a sudden shift of polarity. The electrical current generated by this a sudden change of electric potential.
When the electric eel discharges an electric current, the prey’s muscle suddenly contract, rendering the prey vulnerable for a brief period of time. The serpent then swoops in and swallows the incapacitated prey.
Catania’ experiment proves that curling serpents delivers high voltage to prey. By curling its body around the prey, eels are able to double up the electrical shock.
In order to measure the energy potential of each electric shock, Catania implanted a couple of goldfish with electrodes and released them into the eel’s tank.
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