Newly discovered eel delivers the strongest electric jolt on record

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Scientists have long assumed there was only one species of electric eel. (After all, who needs more?) But when a team of researchers examined more than 100 electric eels from South America’s Amazon Basin, it found that there are actually three species’one of which delivers the strongest shock ever measured in a living animal.

The eels may have diverged from each other after being separated by the development of a major Amazon floodplain more than 3 million years ago, the researchers say. They did not test whether the different eel species would be able to interbreed if given the chance, but after millions of years of divergent evolution, it isn’t likely that sparks would fly.

Publisher: Science | AAAS
Date: 2019-09-10T11:08:47-04:00
Author: Eva Frederick
Twitter: @newsfromscience
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Other things to check out:

Electric eel with a 860-VOLT shock has the highest charge of any animal on earth

A newly discovered species of electric eel produces an 860 volt shock, the highest charge of any known animal in the world.

The creature is one of two extra species of the fish identified by scientists, who’examined 107 specimens from across the Amazon rainforest.’

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The only species already known to science was the Electrophorus electricus, which Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus recorded in 1766.’

But researchers have now found evidence to add two new species to the genus: E. varii and E. voltai, the latter of which is the eel that produces the 860-volt shock.’

Publisher: Mail Online
Date: 2019-09-10T16:00:43+0100
Author: Author link
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A shocking find: new high-voltage electric eels revealed

Tokyo (AFP) – Call it a shock discovery: DNA research has revealed two entirely new species of electric eel in the Amazon basin, including one capable of delivering a record-breaking jolt.

The findings are evidence, researchers say, of the incredible diversity in the Amazon rainforest — much of it still unknown to science — and illustrate why it is so important to protect a habitat at risk from deforestation, logging and fires.

“In spite of all human impact on the Amazon rainforest in the last 50 years, we can still discover giant fishes like the two new species of electric eels,” said lead researcher C. David de Santana, a zoologist working with the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Date: A9862C0E6E1BE95BCE0BF3D0298FD58B
Twitter: @YahooNews
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Smithsonian Researchers Triple the Number of Electric Eel Species, Including One With Record

Before this research, zoologists considered the electric eel’s habitat to cover a large portion of northern South America around the Amazon and Orinoco rivers. Newly discovered eel delivers the strongest electric jolt ... www.sciencemag.org/new found that one of the new species, E. voltai—named after Alessandro Volta, the inventor of the battery—can deliver a shock of 860 volts, well above the previous maximum zap of 650 volts ... The size of that range stuck out as anomalous, says de Santana: ‘If you take the distribution of neotropical fishes, they’re really rare to have one unique species broadly distributed across the continent.’ But the giant fish are hard to collect, and technology like DNA testing and 3-D CT scans are relatively recent innovations, so for centuries, scientific consensus held that there was only one species of electric eel, he says.

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Publisher: Smithsonian
Author: Lila Thulin
Twitter: @smithsonianmag
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Greetings Earthlings: We are out of our element The data presented above may one day be zapped to another dimension. Just thought you should be aware. Guess what. I dropped it.