eel

Researchers have named a brand new species of eel that may produce an electrical shock as much as 860 volts.


David De Santana

Say hi there to 2 new species of electrical eel, together with one that may discharge as much as 860 volts, the strongest of any recognized animal, researchers say. 

Electrical eels ship out {an electrical} discharge to stun prey. After analyzing information on 107 specimens from the Amazon in Brazil, Suriname, French Guiana and Guyana, researchers from São Paulo Analysis Basis and the Smithsonian’s Nationwide Museum of Pure Historical past concluded that naked-back knifefish needs to be reclassified into two new species of electrical eel: E. varii and E. voltai. 

“We used voltage as the important thing differentiation criterion. This has by no means been achieved earlier than to establish a brand new species,” principal investigator Naércio Menezes, professor and researcher on the College of São Paulo’s Zoology Museummentioned in a press release on Tuesday. Their research seems in Nature Communications.

Utilizing a voltmeter, the researchers recorded a discharge from an E. voltai. and found one thing stunning — it reached as much as 860 volts, which is the very best voltage present in any animal. The earlier electrical eel voltage document documented was 650 volts.

Listed below are the 2 newly named eel species, alongside the long-known Electrophorus electricus. 


College of São Paulo Zoology Museum

The voltage variation may have one thing to do with the eels’ pure habitats. E. voltai dwells in clear, well-oxygenated water in excessive elevations, however due to the small quantity of dissolved salts, the water is much less electrically conductive so the eel should produce stronger volt discharges to kill its prey. 

E. varii lives within the lowest a part of the Amazon Basin in low-oxygenated waters that include a excessive quantity of dissolved salts that improve the conductivity of the water. This explains why the eel’s voltage is recorded at 151 volts to 572 volts, which is far decrease than E. voltai, in keeping with the research.

The researchers say the newly found biodiversity of eels may assist in different facets of science together with know-how and drugs, however first we should deal with defending the eels’ habitats within the Amazon. 

“The invention of latest electrical eel species in Amazonia is suggestive of the huge quantity of species that stay to be found in nature,” mentioned Carlos David de Santana, affiliate researcher at Smithsonian Nationwide Museum of Pure Historical past. “The area is of nice curiosity to different scientific fields, equivalent to drugs and biotechnology, reinforcing the necessity to defend and preserve it.”


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Initially printed Sept. 11, 12:08 p.m. PT.