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Eels and Morays: Anguilliformes

Eels, Morays, And People

Freshwater eels are valued as food. Some morays and conger eels are popular in public and home aquariums.


Some eels tear apart prey by tying themselves into knots to obtain leverage against the prey. The eel grabs, often by the head, a fish that is too large to swallow whole. Then the eel turns its tail back toward its body and forms a series of loops that make a knot similar to a square knot or a figure-eight knot. The knotting continues until the heads of the eel and the prey are against the knotted eel's body. The eel then pulls its own head through the knot and, with it, a mouthful of food. This action usually rips the head off the prey fish. The eel then bites onto another section of the prey, and the process continues.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceFish and Other Cold-Blooded VertebratesEels and Morays: Anguilliformes - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Eels, Morays, And People, American Eel (anguilla Rostrata): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS