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Electric eel

  1. Jun 23, 2008 #1


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    Why Electric eel doesn't electrifying itself ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 23, 2008 #2
    This is because the electric charge within the eel is greater than its surrounding environment, just as heat travels from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration (when you touch a hot pan, you get burned, the pan does not), electric current generated by the eel's current-generating cells moves from the higher concentration (the eel) to a lower concentration (the prey). Moreover, the eel does not constantly produce electric current, it does so whenever it is needed for attacking, or when it is startled.
    Fun fact: the Eel is not an eel, it is a knifefish! More clsoely related to the catfish.

    Also, please remember that I'm making this answer up based on a wikipedia article and an intuitive guess. IF anyone can confirm or refute what I have said, I would be much obliged.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2008
  4. Jun 23, 2008 #3


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    According to your explanation every "skin" cell of the eel have to be charged, as far as I know the voltage is created on some specific organ of the eel.
  5. Jun 23, 2008 #4

    Andy Resnick

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  6. Jun 24, 2008 #5

    This reminds me of my high school chemistry days of osmosis, where in natural systems higher concentrations move to regions to lower concentration.
    I guess this concept extends beyond biological systems.
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