Electric eels live in the murky streams and ponds of the Amazon and Orinoco basins of South America. 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, emitting a burst of at least 600 volts, five times the power of a standard U.S. wall socket.
The aquarium in Sandy, just south of Salt Lake City, features the Electric eel as part of the permanent South American freshwater exhibit. "Visitors can visually and audibly experience the power of our Electric eel and get a real sense of how amazing this creature is," said Angie Hyde, Director of Public Relations & Marketing. “We thought we’d put a festive twist on it for the holidays which has been a huge hit with our members and visitors.”
The Electric eel display is made possible by Bill Carnell, Terry Smith, Jim Laub and Jody Jenkins of Cache Valley Electric, and will be available to visitors through December 31, 2011.
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The Living Planet Aquarium inspires people to explore, discover and learn about Earth's diverse ecosystems.