Electric eels (Electrophorus electricus) hunt in the murky waters of the Amazon and Orinoco rivers, where visibility is low. They use electric shocks to hunt, communicate with other eels, and defend themselves from predators. It was recently discovered that electric eels don’t only use their electrical ability to kill prey, but also to control its movements. The high-frequency barrage of shocks that eels emit essentially hijack fishes’ muscles. Under laboratory experiments, eels were found to emit a two-pulse pattern when hunting, which caused fish to twitch involuntarily, revealing their location. This hunting strategy is particularly useful in murky waters, as it allows eels to find living prey.
What a shockingly cool animal!