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Electric eels capable of generating 600 volts

Electric eels capable of generating 600 volts

NEW YORK: Research proves that electric eels use shocking tactics not just to unworthy victim, but to get there control.
The creatures different their electrical discharges either to fire a single fabulous zap, or high voltage showers that cause fish to have massive involuntary muscle spasms..
Another type of less powerful shock produces muscle twitches in prey that reveal their location to hunting eels. The electric eel is armed with muscle-derived biological batteries capable of generating a discharge of up to 600 volts.
This is almost equivalent to the voltage created by the subway power system in New York.
The eels are also known to use low-voltage electrical discharges as a kind of sonar to sense what is around them.
Biologist Professor Kenneth Catania, from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, conducted a series of experiments to investigate how the animals find and capture prey.
The tests showed that eels were able to detect fish through a thin gelatine barrier by making them ‘twitch’.
Multiple discharges that stimulated involuntary muscle movements were closely followed by a ‘full predatory strike’. Writing in the journal Science, Professor Catania said, “Prey that has been detected can be immobilised and captured. Hidden prey can be induced to twitch, revealing their location.”
The twitching often triggered an escape response, but this was countered by stronger discharges that caused swimming muscles to freeze.
Zaps of electricity hijacked the neural pathways of prey by mimicking the impulses that stimulate muscle movement. “Overall, this study reveals that the electric eel has evolved a precise remote control mechanism for prey capture, one that takes advantage of an organism’s own nervous system,” said Professor Catania.