Eels have a remarkable life cycle from birth to death, all its types put aside for a few moments. These creatures are also called catadromous fish and live in both freshwater and saltwater spreading across the entire globe. They begin their life in the ocean from where they migrate to rivers and streams as soon as they enter their larval stages. After spending decades there, eels return to the ocean to reproduce. Eels have always been interesting creatures to study and observe. Many scientists have written several research papers on their habitat and reproduction systems, concluding their research to some extent. Even though, the creature demands devoted attention to be studied in detail. So, if you’re wondering where do eels come from, KEEP READING!!
Specifications about Eels
When seen from a distance, eels look like long, slimy creatures that mean no harm. There are two types of eel commonly known to mankind. One is called an electric eel that electrocutes a human or other harmful creature at a time of defense, and the other is called a moray eel. Surprisingly, we know the former type more than the latter, when in fact electric eels aren’t even real eels. They are only a type of fish.
These are a few specifications of the moray eel:
|Length||2 inches to 13 feet|
|Weight||1 ounce to 55 pounds|
|Diet||Carnivorous diet (fish, invertebrates, crustaceans, shrimp, crabs, and sea urchins)|
|Habitat||Freshwater and Saltwater|
Appearance of eels
Eels have long, wormlike bodies that neither have pelvic fins nor do they have pectoral fins. These creatures swim by generating waves along their bodies that help them push forward. If they want to swim in a backward direction, they reverse the direction of the body-length waves they generate.
Eels may or may not have scales embedded in their skin which they activate when threatened. Those that do not have scales produce slime in times of danger. If not, they may use their sharp teeth to defend themselves.
To produce oxygen, eels use the caterpillars present beneath their skin. They usually live in freshwater, but that is not mostly where they breed. The moray eel spends most of its life in saltwater, and it must travel from freshwater to saltwater for breeding.
If we talk about an electric eel, they lay eggs in freshwater and have no dorsal fin. Scales are mostly not present on their skin and they do not have sharp teeth.
Where do eel come from?
Many theories and logic have been proposed that suggest the origin and evolution of eels, out of which Aristotle’s claim was that eels came
from/evolved from earthworms that originate in the mud. Another scientist named Sigmund Freud spent 10 hours of his daily research life in studying these creatures, where he tried to relate eels with snakes. Other scientists concluded that eels generate spontaneously.
However, this information is no good, is it? We need a definite answer to the question, “where do eel come from?”
The incredible journey of eels
According to research, eels (mostly American) are born in the Sargasso Sea in the Atlantic Ocean southeast of Bermuda. From there, ocean currents blow the eels away to the coast of North America over the course of a few months.
When eels grow a bit bigger, they may either live in bays or marshes or travel to freshwater habitats. With time and this short migration, an eel’s body starts becoming green, brown, or yellow and they are called elvers.
When the time to reproduce comes, eels travel back into the Sargasso Sea where they lay and hatch eggs before dying. This concludes the complete cycle of an eel from birth to death.
Types of eels
Apart from the American eel other major types include the Japanese and the New Zealand eel.
Different stages of eel
From birth till death, an eel goes through the following stages:
- Glass eel
- Adult eel
Depending upon the environment an eel lives in, it may live up to 12 or more years before reproducing and dying.
Facts about eel
Following are a few fun facts about eels:
- Electric eel aren’t eel
- Moray eel have hidden jaws
- European glass eel are said to navigate using magnetic fields
- Eel are scary looking if looked at closely
- There are about 800 different species of eel
- If provided a good habitat, some eel might live for 70 years
- Eel blood is poisonous to humans and other mammals. However, cooking destroys the toxins
- Even though you might live after being electrocuted by an eel, it is enough to send you into a coma
The reproduction system and origination of eel are still being studied by many in the world and we hope to know more about this creature in the following years. Studying the 800 species of eel isn’t possible for humans right now, but studies on each specie are being conducted.