Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Moray Eels - Alien Empire

Morays are a group of more than 200 species of bony fishes that inhabit all of the world’s oceans.

➽ Size of the Moray eel depends on the species. It ranges in length from 6 inches to 15 feet. Average weight of the moray eels is 30 pounds.
➽ Moray eel has a long and slender body which resembles to snake, but they do not belong to the group of reptiles - they are true fish.
➽ Moray eel has a long dorsal fin which runs from the head to the tail. Most moray eels lack pectoral and pelvic fins.
➽ Moray eel spends most of its time hidden in the caves and rock crevices on the bottom of the sea. It attacks like an ambush predator that is waiting for the perfect prey to appear.
➽ Moray eel is a carnivore who like to eat fish, octopuses, squid, cuttlefish, crabs, mollusks…
➽ Moray eel uses specific technique while hunting other animals. They grab a prey using the element of surprise and wrap its body around it until it becomes flattened enough to be swallowed. Other option is to tear apart the victim and eat it one bite after another.
➽ Unlike other eels, moray eel has two sets of sharp teeth. First set is located in the jaw and other in the throat. Teeth located in the throat are used for breaking up of the food and for facilitated digestion.
➽ Teeth are pointed backwards, preventing the slippery prey to escape.
➽ Moray eels produce slippery substance, acting as protective mucus, which covers their body. Mucus of some species contains toxins.
➽ Although moray eel is one of the top predators in the water, it is often hunted by other large sea creatures such as sharks and barracudas.
➽ Moray eel has large eyes, but does not see well. It has a good sense of smell, which helps it locate the prey.

Watch video:
In 2007, scientists from UC Davis used high-speed cameras to capture moray eels using their second jaws to snag prey.
How Moray Eels Eat: A Second Set of Jaws


More about the marine alien:

Image (static): Raul Martin - National Geographic

Image  (animation): animation of the moray eels by CGI
Moray Eels Alien Empire - Example of CGI

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