It is usually black or dark green and sometimes has a white line or groove on either side of the dorsal fin. In spite of its gigantic mouth, it is believed that the gulper eel's diet consists mainly of small crustaceans.
The large mouth may be an adaptation to allow the eel to eat a wider variety of prey when food is scarce. The eel can swim into a large group of shrimp or other crustaceans with its mouth wide open, scooping them up as it goes.
When the eel gulps its prey into its massive jaws, it also takes in a large amount of water, which is then slowly expelled through its gill slits. We do know that as they mature, the males undergo a change that causes enlargement of the olfactory organs, responsible for the sense of smell, and degeneration of the teeth and jaws.
Because of the extreme depths at which it lives, most of what we know about the gulper eel comes from specimens that are inadvertently caught in deep sea fishing nets. The gulper eel is found in all the world's tropical and temperate oceans at depths ranging from 500 to 6,000 feet (about 150 to 1,800 meters).
Gulper eels belong to the order Saccopharyngiformes and family Eurypharyngidae. Gulper eels are deep-sea creatures that are found in tropical and temperate oceans.
Occasionally, they travel to the surface and may sometimes shift to rivers; as they find it difficult to locate food in their natural habitat. Unlike true eels, they have long and thin tails, which help them in locomotion.
In fact, the tail of the gulper eel is so long that, it sometimes gets knotted. Gulper eels have almost no pectoral fins and are blackish or dark green in color.
The characteristic feature of the fish is its loosely hinged mouth, which is very big and wide. Even the stomach of the gulper eel is stretchable, and can hold large amount of food.
However, this fish feeds on small crustaceans, in spite of having a big mouth and a stretchable stomach. Even though, gulper eels have big mouths, their teeth are small; and this indicates that they are not intended to prey upon large animals.
Apart from crustaceans, gulper eel diet includes fish, seaweed, cephalopods such as squids and octopus, etc. Expert opinion is that their eyes are meant for detection of lights rather than formation of images.
This organ called photosphere, has numerous tentacles, and glows pink, through bioluminescence. These red flashes are used to attract prey, as they keep their tail tip near their wide open mouths; so that they can swallow fish and other organisms that move towards the light source.
It is with the help of these olfactory organs that males sense the pheromones released by the females. As of now, very little is known about gulper eels; that are difficult to locate, as they live in deep seas.
Like a hunter bringing a dog to flush out rabbits, groupers entice moray eels to hunt with them (movie 1). Groupers are bulky fish that hunt in daytime in the open water off coral reefs.
Most of the time, the eel responded by following the grouper (movie 4), which repeated the dance more slowly over the crevice where prey was hiding. Some scientists think the cognitive skill needed for cooperative hunting is one of the reasons that humans evolved intelligence.
But the coral grouper not only seeks out giant morays, but actively rouses them by vigorously shaking its body. The grouper ’s bursts of speed make it deadly in open water, while the moray’s sinuous body can flush out prey in cracks and crevices.
He also took several films and when Alexander View from the University of Cambridge watched them, he noticed something Share had missed. Most morays and all wrasses headed towards the grouper ’s location when they saw the signal, causing the prey to break their cover.
(The fact that the prey didn’t abandon their hiding spots beforehand shows that the headstand itself isn’t a hunting tactic.) And when the morays ignored the headstand, the groupers actually swum after their partner and either performed their “recruitment shimmy” or forcibly tried to push the eels in the right direction.
Step 2: Draw two horizontal lines from the ends of this shape that point slightly upward. Step 3: Draw a long curve from each end that meet in a sharp point.
Gulper Eels are long ugly fish that live in the north part of the Atlantic Ocean. They grow to be 3 feet long and have a bright pink bulb at the end of their tails.
Attached to their head is a big jaw that they open so wide they can swallow much bigger fish. Scientists think the bright pink bulb on the Gulper Eel ’s tail is used as lure to get other fish to swim into its mouth.
In recent years, fishermen have been catching Gulper Eels in their nets. Decorate the room with construction paper waves and hang drawings of Ocean life found in the Atlantic to give your students a schedule of the lesson plans to come during the week.
In some worst case scenarios, some victims did not even live to tell the tale of their encounter with those menacing eels. The well-known scary experience was from Jimmy Griffin, 48, who was scuba diving when the eel attacked him.
It all began when the conger eel emerged from the depths and tried to drag him down to the ocean bed. Luckily, he broke free but had to suffer with 20 stitches on his face followed by painful plastic surgery over the coming months.
The unique thing about this so-called eel is that it can generate up to 600 volts of electricity both underwater and on land. Electric eels are not aggressive, but multiple shocks from them could cause a person to stop breathing or go into heart failure.
Moral eels have a snake-like body, and their large mouth is equipped with rows of sharp dangerous teeth. They have two set of jaws, and their teeth are pointing backwards so that prey cannot escape from their grip.
There have been countless attacks by moray eels underwater, and victims lost their limbs, chunks of their faces, and more. Moray eels are not aggressive despite their fearsome attacks, they are actually territorial, and they only strike when they feel threatened.
Most attacks occurred when divers or snorkelers stick their hand into a crevice in search of octopus or lobster. Since they are one powerful and scary species, moray eels only have a few predators such as grouper, barracuda, sharks, and us humans.
Abundantly found in tropical and subtropical seas especially on coral reefs, Purana is also one of the menacing eels. Just like most dangerous eels out there, this species has wide mouth, strong jaws, and razor sharp pointy teeth.
With the combination of enormous passion for writing and curiosity, research has been done every day to provide new topics and interesting things for her amazing readers. This little writing maniac is always happy to see the number of audience increasing each day, and thanks to you awesome people from different parts of the world who visit this blog.
Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Actinopterygii Order: Anguilliformes Family: Eurypharyngidae Gill, 1883Genus: Oropharynx Gallant, 1882Species: Binomial name Oropharynx pelecanoides Synonyms Gastrostomies pacificusMacropharynx longicaudatusGastrostomus bairdiiEurypharynx richardiLeptocephalus pseudolatissimus Pelican eel specimens can be hard to describe, as they are so fragile that they become damaged when recovered from the immense pressure of the deep sea.
The pelican eel's most notable feature is its large mouth, which is much larger than its body. The mouth is loosely hinged, and can be opened wide enough to swallow a fish much larger than the eel itself.
Its jaw is so large that it is estimated to be about a quarter of the total length of the eel itself. When it feeds on prey, water that is ingested is expelled via the gills.
It lacks pelvic fins, swim bladders, and scales. The pelican eel has an glomerular kidney that is thought to have a role in maintaining the gelatinous substance filling the “lymphatic spaces” that are found around the vertebrae.
It has been hypothesized that these gelatinous substance filled “lymphatic spaces” could function similarly to a swim bladder. Unlike many other deep sea creatures, it has very small eyes.
It is believed that the eyes evolved to detect faint traces of light rather than form images. Specimens that have been brought to the surface in fishing nets have been known to have their long tails tied into several knots.
The end of the tail bears a complex organ with numerous tentacles, which glows pink and gives off occasional bright-red flashes. This is presumably a lure to attract prey, although its presence at the far end of the body from the mouth suggests the eel may have to adopt an unusual posture to use it effectively.
Pelican eels are also unusual that the ampule of the lateral line system projects from the body, rather than being contained in a narrow groove; this may increase its sensitivity. Another interesting fact is that the pelican eel does not appear to display sexual dimorphism.
Pelican eels are black or olive and some subspecies may have a thin lateral white stripe. Despite the great size of the jaws, which occupy about a quarter of the animal's total length, it has only tiny teeth, which would not be consistent with a regular diet of large fish.
The large mouth may be an adaptation to allow the eel to eat a wider variety of prey when food is scarce. The eel can swim into large groups of shrimp or other crustaceans with its mouth closed, opening wide as it closely approaches prey, scooping them up to be swallowed.
The pelican eel is also known to feed on cephalopods (squid) and other small invertebrates. When the eel gulps its prey into its massive jaws, it also takes in a large amount of water, which is then slowly expelled through its gill slits.
Pelican eels themselves are preyed upon by lancet fish and other deep sea predators. Recent studies have shown that pelican eels are active participants in their pursuit of food, rather than passively waiting for prey to fall into their large mouths.
Until they reach their juvenile stage, they interestingly have very small body organs and do not contain any red blood cells. As they mature, the males undergo a change that causes enlargement of the olfactory organs, responsible for the sense of smell, and degeneration of the teeth and jaws.
The females, on the other hand, remain relatively unchanged as they mature. The large olfactory organs in the males indicates that they may locate their mates through pheromones released by the females.
Many researchers believe that the eels die shortly after reproduction. The pelican eel has been found in the temperate and tropical areas of all oceans.
One Canadian-arctic specimen was found in Davis Strait at a depth of 1,136–1,154 m (3,727–3,786 ft), and also across the coasts of Greenland. More recently, pelican eels have been spotted off the coast of Portugal, as well as near Hawaiian islands.
Because of the extreme depths at which it lives, most of what is known about the pelican eel comes from specimens that are inadvertently caught in deep sea fishing nets. Although once regarded as a purely deep-sea species, since 1970, hundreds of specimens have been caught by fishermen, mostly in the Atlantic Ocean.
In October 2018, the first direct observation of a gulper eel was made by a group of researchers about 1500 kilometers off the coast of Portugal near the islands called the Azores. The team witnessed the aggressive nature of the eel's hunting process, as it was constantly moving around in the water column to attempt to find prey.
In September 2018, the E/V Nautilus team also witnessed a juvenile gulper eel inflating its mouth in attempt to catch prey in the Papahnaumokukea Marine National Monument (PNM). Until these recent explorations, not much has been analyzed by researchers of the behavior of gulper eels.
In 2003, researchers from the University of Tokyo sequenced mitochondrial DNA (mt DNA) from specimens of Oropharynx pelicanoides and Sacco pharynx lavender. After comparing the sequences from the specimens with other known sequences, they found that Oropharynx pelicanoides and Sacco pharynx lavender were closely related and genetically distinct from anguilliformes.
^ a b c d Nielsen, Jørgen G.; E. Berkeley; ASE Jefferson (September 1989). By Miller, Peter Rank; Renamed, Claude B.; Alfonso, Noel; et al. Road, Brian W.; Last, James D.
CS1 main: DOI inactive as of November 2020 (link) ^ Paxton, John R.; Scholar, William N. (1998). ^ Osaka, Chief; Nakamoto, Naomi; Nielsen, Jørgen G.; Sofia, Hiroshi (1 November 2011).
“The glomerular kidney of the deep-sea gulper eel Sacco pharynx ampullaceus (Saccopharyngiformes: Saccopharyngidae)”. “First direct observation of hunting pelican eel reveals a bizarre fish with an inflatable head”.
CS1 main: numeric names: authors list (link) ^ Delaney, Shannon C. (1 October 2016). “Species Distribution Modeling of Deep Pelagic Eels”.
^ “Watch a Gulper Eel Inflate and Deflate Itself, Shocking Scientists”. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Oropharynx pelecanoides.