MadSci Network: General Biology

Re: Is a gulper eel a real eel?

Date: Thu Jan 27 21:28:09 2000
Posted By: Erin Cram, MadSci Admin
Area of science: General Biology
ID: 949029866.Gb

The gulper eel is a real eel!  Here is what I found out:

Occasionally brought up from great depths in nets, the gulper eel consists mainly 
of a huge mouth followed by a large bag of skin and, finally, a very long thin 
tail. The eel,often 6 feet long, can swallow prey as large or larger than itself. 
Such features are not particularly rare in deep-sea-creatures, but we do have to 
briefly describe this grotesque fish to get a delightful anomaly. It seems that 
in a few recovered specimens, the thin tail is tied in several overhand knots! 

(de Sylva, Donald P.; "The Gulper Eel and Its Knotty Problem," Sea_Frontiers, 
32:104, March-April 1986.) 

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