Electric fish

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Electric eels are fish capabale of generating an electrical field.

An Electric fish is a fish that can make electric fields. Fishes that can generate such fields are said to be electrogenic, those that can detect them are called electroreceptive. Most electrogenic fish are also electroreceptive. Many fish, for example sharks, rays, and catfishes are electroreceptive. They cannot generate electric fields though, and are therefore not classified as electric fish. Most bony fish are neither electrogenic nor electroreceptive.

Strongly and weakly electric fish[change | edit source]

Electrogenic fish have a special organ that can generate electricity. This organ is usually called electric organ. It is usually located near the tail of the fish. It is made from specialised muscle or nerve cells. When the organ produces electricity that is released this is called Electric Organ Discharge (or EOD for short).

Based on the strength of the EOD, the electrogenic fish can be classified into two types:

In total, there are 348 known species of electric fish, in about 56 genera. The only known species that lives in salt water are the electric rays, with 23 species.