According to new findings, two new species of electric eel have been discovered in the Amazon, one of which includes the Electrophorus Voltai, which can deliver a record-breaking electric shock.
The findings, published on Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, theorise that the species evolved from a shared ancestor millions of years ago. We take a closer look into Amazonia’s newest discover in terms of its origination and just how exactly it is compared to its siblings.
Newest addition to the family
The Electrophorus Voltai, or better known as E. voltai is the newest electric eel in the water. Capable of generating a jolt of 860 volts, which is precisely much more than the 650 volts previously recorded from electric eels, this slippery creature is by far the strongest bioelectricity generator known to mankind.
Upon researching it future, scientists confirmed that the E. voltai can actually produce an adaptation to life in highland waters, where conductivity is reduced.
Can possibly generate electricity
Electric eels use their shock tactics for a variety of reasons, including hunting prey, self-defence, and navigation. They generate electricity from three specialised electric organs that can emit charges of varying strengths for different purposes. But the discovery of the new species raises the possibility that different types of eels may have evolved different ways of generating electricity, perhaps better suited to their diverse environments.
A family of three
Along with Electrophorus voltai, upended centuries of assumptions revealed two other species residing in the Amazonia as well: the previously known Electrophorus electricus and Electrophorus varii. The three species evolved from a shared ancestor millions of years ago, all of these eels can generate fatal shocks, each more powerful than the other.