Electric eels deliver taser-like shocks

Scientist Repeatedly Shocks Himself with an Electric Eel to Test Its Power
YouTube Kenneth Catania
Author

17 September, 2017

Now, a researcher has measured how strong that shock can be.

A scientist has been purposefully shocked by an electric eel in order to record its voltage, and claims it wasn't a "crazy thing to be doing". And the results were not too surprising.

"Results suggest that the main objective of the leaping attack is to strongly deter potential eel predators by briefly causing intense pain", states Catania. We guess it wasn't that enjoyable since a shock from an electric eel is equivalent to a zap from an electric fence.

According to Kenneth Catania of Vanderbilt University, we have always known that eels give off huge amount of electrical energy and it was fantastic but they simply aren?t just animals who go around shocking every one; they are rather intelligent creatures who have evolved with time to concentrate their electrical energy to a stronger form and use their power efficiently. To make sure no harm is done while this experiment he chose a relatively small eel with less powerful shocks.

However when he wore the gloves he could not measure the current the eels discharged when attacking their prey - which could be a different matter altogether. "But they aren't just simple animals that go around shocking stuff".

The post Biologist comes up with an efficient way to measure the intensity of shocks by eel by Olivia Tucker appeared first on Herald Keeper.

It took ten tries until he was able to collect data sufficient for the study, he eventually discovered that the eel was delivering a jolt of 40 to 50 milliamperes through his arm.

Catania has spent years to study the way these isolated fish emit electrical fields and use them to stun their prey. That's more than enough to cause a person or animal a shocking pain, but not enough to actually hurt them. Measuring the shock from those interactions allowed him to solve an equation that he can extrapolate to measure the power released by bigger eels, which can grow to 8 feet or longer.

He concluded that a leaping attack does inflict a more significant injury than an underwater encounter because in a leaping move the eel presses his chin against the victim to deliver the electricity directly-whereas in the water, the charge is a bit more dispersed. So he already had an idea about their strength. "I can't imagine an animal that had received this [jolt] sticking around".


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