Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 23

electric eel

Large freshwater fish (Electrophorus electricus) found in shallow streams of the Orinoco and Amazon basins of South America; body cylindrical at front, becoming compressed posteriorly, length up to 2·4 m/8 ft; long anal fin; dorsal, tail, and pelvic fins absent; produces powerful electric shocks to stun prey, as defence, and for navigation in turbid waters. (Family: Electrophoridae.)

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