Interesting Facts About Eels

Eels are aquatic animals that have an interesting life cycle that has eluded many scientists for many many years. Eels and their young look nothing alike. They also die after laying their eggs. Read on for more interesting facts about this mysterious creature.

  • There are over 400 types of eels.
  • The electric eel, despite its name, is not an eel.
  • Eels live in both saltwater and freshwater.
  • Eels look like snakes but they are actually a type of fish. 
  • American eels are the only species of freshwater eel found in North America.
  • They live along the Atlantic coastline from Venezuela to Greenland and Iceland.
  • The majority of eels are scaleless.
  • Eels have very sharp teeth and can bite humans.
  • Eels can also be found in the Great Lakes and Mississippi River.
  • Adult eels migrate far offshore in the Sargasso Sea where adults reproduce.
  • While on the journey, eels do not eat.
  • After the eggs hatch, young eels drift inland with ocean currents into streams, rivers, and lakes for over 3,700 miles.
  • Eel larvae change into glass eels and then into elvers before finally becoming an adult.
  • Young eels stay in freshwater until they reach maturity, between 10 to 25 years, before migrating back to the Sargasso Sea.
  • Eels hunt at night, feeding on crustaceans, small insects and other fish.
  • During the day, they hide among tree snags, plants, and other types of shelters found close to shore where they live.
  • Eels are a delicacy in many cultures but they need to be cooked thoroughly as their blood is toxic.
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