Researchers from the Vanderbilt University have state in their findings that electric eels not only generate large amounts of electricity, but also use that generated electricity for controlling it prey remotely. These eels contain the electricity while being submerged under water. “People had known since the 70s that eels give off these pairs of pulses—or doublets—as they explore looking for food.
Usually when they’re excited and they know that food is around but can’t find it. It actually turns out that this generates very rapid and strong [muscle] contraction,” says Kenneth Catania, biologist from the Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
Eels detect motion first, only when they see something move, they unleash their attack. Mark Nelson, Neurobiologist from the University of Illinois has done his study on the Electric Eel. He explains how the Eel hunter grabs on his prey using electric power. He says, “That makes it more clever on the part of the eel. Rather than just stun and strike whatever’s around, it probes.” It first strikes after seeing movement, this is a super fast strike. It then sucks the prey, and keep sucking, so that the prey gets electric shock. After sometime of shock, the prey is completely immobilized. The researcher Kenneth Catania also states that, “When the eel’s pulses slow down—then the eel gets tired at the end of its attack—you see individual fish twitches, with one twitch from every pulse. That tells us that the eel is reaching in to the prey’s nervous system, controlling its muscles.”
The researchers in the concluding study have also made remarks at eel describing how they are just fascinating in their own right. It is also an amazing fact that they give out electricity, and smartly and very effectively control the nervous system of the prey by electrical shock.