Electric eel

Electric eel Introduction

The Electric eel is a South American electric fish. These famous freshwater predators get their name from the enormous electrical charge they can generate to stun prey and dissuade predators. Their bodies contain electric organs with about 6,000 specialized cells called electrocytes that store power like tiny batteries. When threatened or attacking prey, these cells will discharge simultaneously. Electric eels can grow up to 2.5 metres and only need to surface for air every 10 minutes due to the eels complex circulatory system. Electric eels tend to live in muddy beds in calm water, eating fish and small mammals. They live in the murky streams and ponds of the Amazon and Orinoco basins of South America, feeding mainly on fish, but also amphibians and even birds and small mammals. As air-breathers, they must come to the surface frequently. They also have poor eyesight, but can emit a low-level charge, less than 10 volts, which they use like radar to navigate and locate prey.

Keywords to learn

Electrocytes: a modified muscle or nerve cell that generates electricity in the electric organ of certain fishes

Key Data

  • Order:
  • Lifespan:
    15 years.
  • Class:
  • Scientific name:
    Electrophorus Electricus.
  • Mass:
    44 pounds.
  • Length:
    6 to 8 feet.
  • Region Found:
    South America.
  • Population Status:
    Least concern.
  • Current population trend:
  • Diet:
  • Sexual maturity:
    At a length of 1 m.


As you have learned, the Electric eel is a shockingly amazing  creature. with the ability to knock a horse off its feet, be sure to look at this animal from a safe distance and NEVER pick them up!!!!



Now that you know more about the Electric eel by learning the key data above, be sure to also to check out the fun facts. When you are finished learning the facts, try answering the questions in the Q&A corner on the bottom right side of the page.


Download questions about the Electric eel here: Electric Eel (answers are on this page)


Teachers. For more in-depth worksheets on the Electric eel. Click on Kidskonnect Worksheets


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Electric eel Fun Facts for Kids

  • # 1. Despite their snake-like appearance, electric eels are not actually eels. Their scientific classification is closer to carp and catfish.
  • # 2. The electricity that the electric eel uses to shock its prey, is produced in pairs of organs that are found in the abdomen of the electric eel. 
  • # 3. these electricity producing organs take up around of 80% of the body of the electric eel leaving only 20% of the electric eels body free to hold the electric eels vital organs that it needs to survive.
  • # 4. Human deaths from electric eels are extremely rare. However, multiple shocks can cause respiratory or heart failure, and people have been known to drown in shallow water after a stunning jolt.
  • # 5. The shock of an electric eel has been known to knock a horse off its feet.

Q&A Corner

  • # 1. Are Electric eels fully aquatic?
  • # 2. How many electrifying cells does the Electric eel have?
  • # 3. Name one place Electric eels are found?
  • # 4. What large animal could an Electric eel immobilize? 
  • # 5. What other fish is the Electric eel weirdly related to?


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