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South American Knifefishes and Electric Eels: Gymnotiformes

Physical Characteristics

South American knifefishes and electric eels have a narrow ribbon-like body. Instead of a tail fin, they have a long tail. The tail is an extension of the anal (AY-nuhl) fin, the fin on the midline of the belly, which on these fishes extends the entire length of the belly. There are no pelvic fins, the rear pair, or dorsal (DOOR-suhl) fin, the fin along the midline of the back. The most outstanding feature of knifefishes and electric eels is electric organs in the skin. Electric eels give off strong electric discharges. Knifefishes produce weak electrical discharges.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceFish and Other Cold-Blooded VertebratesSouth American Knifefishes and Electric Eels: Gymnotiformes - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Electric Eel (electrophorus Electricus): Species Accounts, Glass Knifefish (eigenmannia Lineata): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABIT