Moray Eel

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Recently, researchers have discovered a new species of Moray eel at the Mudasalodai fish landing centre off the Cuddalore coast.

About Moray eel:

  • Moray eels or Muraenidae are a family of eels found worldwide
  • They have small eyes and rely primarily on their highly developed sense of smell to ambush prey. Their body is mostly patterned.
  • Moray eels live in shallow water among reefs and rocks in all tropical and subtropical seas.
  • Moray eels can be found in both freshwater and saltwater environments.
  • They are distinguished by two types of jaws: regular (oral) jaws with large teeth and the pharyngeal jaw (which drags prey inside the eel's stomach).
  • The newly discovered species has been named after Tamil Nadu as Gymnothorax tamilnaduensis with common name as Tamil Nadu brown moray.


Q1) What is the role of pharyngeal jaws in Eels?

Once prey is secured in the eel's oral jaws, a second set of toothy jaws (known as the pharyngeal jaws) located behind the eel's skull lunges forward, advancing along almost the full length of its skull, to snatch and deliver the prey to the eel's esophagus for swallowing

Source: New species of Moray eel discovered off the Cuddalore coast named after Tamil Nadu