Scientists recently discovered that there are not one (as they had thought), not two, but three different species of electric eel. And one of the new discoveries packs the biggest punch of all. These eels send out pulses of electricity to zap prey. And smaller pulses to sense the environment when they’re on the hunt. Most eels generate up to 650 volts of electricity. That’s about five-and-a-half times what comes out of a U.S. electrical socket. This new one: up to 860 volts. That’s a serious burst of energy!

electric eel

photo by Stephen G. Johnson

Did you know? Although many eels live in the ocean, electric eels are freshwater fish. They live in rivers throughout South America. source

Want to know more? The new species of electric eels are the first ones discovered in more than 250 years. Learn more at Science News for Students.

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