Electric eels have long been a favorite of science because of their strange behaviors and their unique bioelectric capabilities.

Recent research has found that electric eels are even more fascinating than originally thought: they hunt in packs and pass information to each other as they prepare to strike. This behavior could have implications far beyond the electric eel’s natural habitat.

What Are Electric Eels?

Electric eels (Electrophorus electricus) are fish that live in fresh water environments throughout the Amazon Basin. They can grow up to eight feet in length and are capable of generating up to 600 volts of electricity, which they use to stun their prey. Electric eels have long been studied by scientists, who have uncovered many of the secrets of the animal’s remarkable abilities.

Electric Eel Hunting Strategies 

Electric eels have a number of strategies for hunting. They may use their electricity to send out a jolt of energy that stuns their prey, allowing them to easily feed. Alternatively, electric eels may work in teams to hunt, a strategy that scientists previously thought impossible for the lone predators.

Electric Eels Hunting in Packs 

In 2018, researchers from the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany discovered that electric eels can actually cooperate with other electric eels in order to hunt. This unusual behavior was observed in the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, where the researchers observed that groups of electric eels moved together, passing electrical signals to one another. This suggests that the electric eels were working together to coordinate their attack on prey.

Communication During Hunting 

Electric eels communicate with each other during hunting. Before launching an attack, the electric eels in a group will send out low-voltage signals to communicate with each other. Researchers believe that these signals may be used to coordinate the attack, giving the electric eels the best chance of capturing their prey.

The Significance Of The Discovery 

The discovery that electric eels cooperate when hunting has implications beyond their natural habitat. The ability of animals to coordinate their movements and communicate with each other shows that animals are more intelligent than previously thought. By understanding more about the behavior in electric eels, scientists may be able to uncover new communication tactics that could be used by robots and other artificial intelligence systems.

Potential Implications for Human-Animal Interactions 

The findings about electric eels could have implications for how humans interact with animals. By understanding more about how electric eels communicate and coordinate their movements, scientists can gain a better understanding of the complex social structures that animals may use to interact with each other, and with their human counterparts. This could lead to more effective conservation efforts and better animal welfare policies.

The discovery that electric eels can hunt together in packs and communicate with one another has surprised and fascinated scientists. The implications of this behavior, both for electric eels and other animals, could lead to further breakthroughs in animal behavior and communication. Electric eels may be small, but their effects on the field of science will be felt for years to come.