David de Santana calls himself a “fish detective.” This zoologist works at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. Carolyn enjoys writing about chemistry, microbes and the environment. The low intensity charges emitted by the eel range from 5 to 10 V. The higher intensity charges vary by the size of the eel. These organs make up four fifths of its body, and give the electric eel the ability to generate two types of electric organ discharges: low voltage and high voltage. That being said, you could probably kill an electric eel if you had a strong enough current. Weekly updates to help you use Science News for Students in the learning environment. But “they get a bit more dramatic as you realize they’re pushing 1,000 volts,” says Stoddard. "We used voltage as the key differentiation criterion. New Electric Eel Is Most Shocking Yet Packing 860 volts, the newly discovered species “will not kill a healthy person.” Still, it has jolted scientists. neurobiologist     Scientist who studies cells and functions of the brain and other parts of the nervous system. Register to access: Already Registered? This enables the electricity to travel through the fresh water, which is not the best conductor of electricity. It lives primarily in the lowland regions of the Amazon. genetic     Having to do with chromosomes, DNA and the genes contained within DNA. To do this, they riled up each eel with a little prod to the snout. So the scientists suspected that other eel species lurked in the region’s rivers. prey     (n.) Animal species eaten by others. One of the newly found species has been named Electrophorus voltai. Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion. But this is the first “discovery of a new species … after more than 250 years,” de Santana reports. © 2020 CNET, A RED VENTURES COMPANY. They also send out weaker pulses to sense hidden prey and communicate with each other. Originally published Sept. 11, 12:08 p.m. PT. The source of their power is a battery-like array of cells known as electrocytes, which make up around 80 per cent of the eel’s metre-long body. Electric eels use strong zaps to defend themselves and take down prey. Shark Vs electric eel please like and subscribe for more such videos Electric eels come by their name for good reason — depending on the species, they can release an electric shock of up to 860 volts. “The electric eel, which can reach 2.5 metres in length, is the only fish that produces such a strong discharge; it uses three electric organs. This eel sorting let the researchers make a family tree of sorts. "The region is of great interest to other scientific fields, such as medicine and biotechnology, reinforcing the need to protect and conserve it.". Power companies use high voltage to move electric power over long distances. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by e-mail. We delete comments that violate our policy, which we encourage you to read. organ     (in biology) Various parts of an organism that perform one or more particular functions. The shock is used for defense and predation,” said Carlos David de Santana, an associate researcher at the US National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), administered by the Smithsonian Institution, and first author of the article. 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He notes that the differences between the species are somewhat subtle. The electric eel has three pairs of abdominal organs that produce electricity: the main organ, the Hunter's organ, and the Sach's organ.These organs make up four-fifths of its body, and are what gives the electric eel the ability to generate two types of electric organ discharges: low voltage and high voltage. People who work in this field are geneticists. The electric eel can generate deadly shocks up to 600 volts strong. The organs give the electric eel the ability to generate two types of electric organ discharges, low voltage and high voltage. The scientists compared the eels’ physical traits and genetic differences. The field of science dealing with these biological instructions is known as genetics. “The electric eel, which can reach 2.5 meters in length, is the only fish that produces such a strong discharge; it uses three electric organs. Electric catfish live in Africa, mainly around the Nile River. After analyzing data on 107 specimens from the Amazon in Brazil, Suriname, French Guiana and Guyana, researchers from São Paulo Research Foundation and the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History concluded that naked-back knifefish should be reclassified into two new species of electric eel: E. varii and E. voltai. behavior     The way something, often a person or other organism, acts towards others, or conducts itself. shock     (in biology and medicine) A potentially fatal bodily reaction to a variety of conditions, including illness, injury, blood loss and lack of adequate water, usually characterized by marked loss of blood pressure, decreased blood circulation and inadequate blood flow to the tissues. and discovered something shocking -- it reached up to 860 volts, which is the highest voltage found in any animal. Using a voltmeter, the researchers recorded a discharge from an E. voltai. © Society for Science & the Public 2000–2020. Voltage of an Electric Eel The electric eel (Electrophorus electricus), which is found in South American tropical regions, has the ability to produce powerful electric charges. Here’s the second newfound eel species: E. varii. This explains why the eel's voltage is recorded at 151 volts to 572 volts, which is much lower than E. voltai, according to the study. Inside the organ are many muscle-like cells, called electrocytes. The Sachs organ is associated with electrolocation. The scientists used a computer to mathematically sort the animals. Here are the two newly named eel species, alongside the long-known Electrophorus electricus. This newly discovered species of electric eel (Electrophorus voltai) can give quite a shock.Scientists measured a zap of 860 volts, making it the record holder among known species. Most came from the wild. eel     A fish with a snake-like body and no scales. Free educator resources are available for this article. Many migrate from freshwater to saltwater when it’s time to spawn. A person probably wouldn’t feel a difference between a shock of 500 volts and anything higher. The eel was able to deliver up to 40 or 50 milliamps at its farthest out of the water, with the height on his arm above the surface acting like a switch that could raise or lower the power. To find out just how much of a jolt electric eels pack, this biologist used his arm as a target. habitat     The area or natural environment in which an animal or plant normally lives, such as a desert, coral reef or freshwater lake. The number of samples, the difficulty of the study and the variety of methods used all make this solid work, says Carl Hopkins. The electric eel, Electrophorus electricus, is a fish classified in the order Gymnotiformes and is a cousin to the carp and catfish. Electric eels have been shown to curl their bodies around larger or more elusive prey. Say hello to two new species of electric eel, including one that can discharge up to 860 volts, the strongest of any known animal, researchers say. A few were specimens from museums. The electric eel then delivers a series of shocks that occur at one-millisecond intervals. The publication, as well as Science News magazine, are published by the Society for Science & the Public, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) membership organization dedicated to public engagement in scientific research and education.
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