Electric eel

1 min read
Electric eel Blog Image


Recently, a research group from Nagoya University in Japan found electric eels can release enough electricity to genetically modify small fish larvae.

About Electric eel

  • The scientific name of this species is Electrophorus Electricus which is a fish that only lives in freshwater areas.
  • They can release up to 860 volts, which is enough to run a machine.
  • They emit a weak electric signal, which they use like radar to navigate, to find a mate, and to find prey. 
  • Appearance:
    • It has a slender, snake-like body and flattened head.
    • It has three specialized electric organs—the main electrical organ, the Hunter’s organ and the Sachs’ organ which make up about 80 percent of this fish’s body. 
    • It can deliver a shock because its nervous system contains a number of disc-shaped electrogenic (electricity-producing) cells called electrocytes.
  • Habitat: They dwell mainly on the muddy bottoms of rivers and occasionally swamps, preferring deeply shaded areas.
  • Distribution: Its range spans across Brazil, the Guianas, Suriname, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
  • Conservation status
    • IUCN: Least concern

What is Electroporation?

  • Electroporation uses an electric field to create temporary pores in the cell membrane. This lets molecules, like DNA or proteins, enter the target cell.

Q1) What is the International Union for Conservation of Nature?

It is an international organization working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. Founded in 1948, IUCN has become the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it.

Source: Can electricity from electric eels transfer genetic material to nearby animals?