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Eels remotely control of their prey with electricity - VIDEO PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 06 December 2014 12:19

The ability of electric eels (Electrophorus electricus) stun their prey using a 600-volt electric discharge has been known for a long time, but exactly how predatory fish to organize their attack remained a mystery, worried scientists from the XVIII century.

Recently, researchers have studied this issue in detail and found out some interesting details. It turned out that acne uses high-frequency discharges flurry to remotely immobilize the victim, and they mimic the neural signals of their prey and force her muscles to contract. In essence, they take control of muscles and remotely involve the fish to certain death in a huge suction mouth.

If the victim is hiding behind a small stone or seaweed, eel change strategy. In this case, it causes the muscles to contract involuntarily production, so that it produces an involuntary movement of the animal to lie low.

Experiments that have helped scientists identify these mechanisms were designed and conducted by Kenneth Catania (Kenneth Catania) from Vanderbilt University.

In the natural environment Catania watched hunting eel and measure its electrical discharges. Once the predatory fish was ready to attack, it emits a flurry of high-voltage electric pulses. After this production could not swim away from the hunter and catch it was very simple.

To understand what is happening, Catania brought under anesthesia victim's brain-damaged fish, but some muscle fibers remained intact and continued to decline. Then he put the electric eel in an aquarium with the fish and measured muscle contractions production.


Eel sent high electrical impulses, and after about 3 milliseconds muscles fish greatly reduced, paralyzing her. In this case, physical contact eel and fish did not happen.

The researchers then repeated the experiment by putting the fish in the aquarium with the remote spine. This helped to ensure that the electrical shock effect on motor neurons and reduces muscle without cycling wherein the central nervous system output.

However, the control muscle contractions in the distance - not the only tool in the arsenal of the electric eel.

Catania also found that different signals Double-pulse high voltage made a few fish in the reachable range twitch uncontrollably, giving its location and allowing the eel to go to them for its traditional attack a series of high voltage pulses.



This two-pulse signal seems to help detect prey predator, if the information is limited, for example, in the dark or rocky environments where the victim can escape and hide.

How and why acne developed such extraordinary abilities, is still unknown.

Catania said that electric eels live only in South America and can reach a length of two meters. However, scientist have checked all available records and could not find mention of casualties electrical discharges fishes (though perhaps they were among the large mammals).

"I believe that acne will deactivate the production, which will correspond to its size, - says the scientist. - And some of them are able to grow large enough: in my house there is a special length of 1.2 meters, the size of my leg."


НАЖМИТЕ ЗДЕСЬ ДЛЯ ПРОСМОТРА ВСЕГО СПИСКА НОВОСТЕЙ О НЕОБЫЧНЫХ ЯВЛЕНИЯХ>>>

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