How much of a shock can an electric eel deliver? A scientist just found out first-hand

first_imgArticle published by Mike Gaworecki Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Last year, Kenneth Catania, a professor of biological sciences at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, was able to corroborate a centuries-old story about electric eels leaping out of the water to shock would-be assailants.One advantage of leaping out of the water to zap attackers is that the eel’s electrical shock doesn’t have to travel through the water first, which causes it to dissipate and therefore pack less of a punch. But just how much of a charge can eels deliver, anyway?Catania has now answered that question, as well, in a study published in the journal Current Biology this month. Last year, Kenneth Catania, a professor of biological sciences at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, was able to corroborate a centuries-old story about electric eels leaping out of the water to shock would-be assailants.Prussian naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt was the first to document the behavior, all the way back in 1807. Over the next 200-plus years, however, no other scientists were ever able to observe an electric eel’s leaping abilities, and von Humboldt’s account came to be considered apocryphal by most eel researchers.Catania published the results of a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in June 2016 that definitively showed electric eels can and do propel themselves out of the water in a defensive behavior that allows them to deliver their high-voltage payload directly to a target. Catania theorized that this was most advantageous to the South American natives during the Amazon’s dry season, when they can be found in small pools and are therefore at greater risk of predation.You can watch Catania’s experiment, in which an eel in an aquarium attacks an imitation predator embedded with LEDs powered by the eel’s electric shock, in this video:Another advantage of leaping out of the water to zap attackers is that the eel’s electrical shock doesn’t have to travel through the water first, which causes it to dissipate and therefore pack less of a punch. But just how much of a charge can eels deliver, anyway?Catania has now answered that question, as well, in a study published in the journal Current Biology this month.In order to study the electrical circuit created when an eel leaps from the water and presses its chin against another animal (or human, as the case may be), Catania built a contraption that allowed him to measure the strength of the electrical current as it flowed through a human arm — in this case, his own arm. For the experiment, Catania used a relatively small, juvenile eel, which meant that it would have a comparatively low shocking ability.“Despite its small size, the juvenile eel was able to communicate 40–50 mA of current during each leap,” Catania writes in the study, adding that “the eel’s volley included more than 20 pulses, imparting 40 mA, at a rate of roughly 175 Hz.”40 to 50 milliamps is enough to cause a person or animal considerable pain, Catania notes: “Although 40–50 mA may not seem like much electrical current, it is far above the levels usually used to study pain and reflexive withdrawal reflexes. Most studies of withdrawal reflexes in humans stimulate with transcutaneous currents in the 5–10 mA range. Withdrawal reflexes of horse forelimbs can be elicited with transcutaneous currents ranging from 1.7 to 5.5 mA. Likewise, in dogs, withdrawal reflexes are elicited with transcutaneous currents of 2–4 mA.”This series of photographs shows an electric eel leaping onto a human arm. Photo Credit: Kenneth Catania.“It’s impressive that a little eel could deliver that much electricity,” Catania said in a statement. “We don’t know the main driver of the behavior, but they need to deter predators, and I can tell you it’s really good at that. I can’t imagine an animal that had received this [jolt] sticking around.”Roughly 3.9 Watts of power was transferred into Catania’s arm at the peak of each discharge — which the juvenile eel, had it been in the wild, would use on predators like crocodiles, cats, and “who knows what else,” according to Catania. Based on this data, he estimates that a fully grown electric eel could impart as much as 63 Watts into its target, which Catania notes is nearly an order of magnitude greater than the 7.4 Watts transferred by the pulses of the tasers used by law enforcement.That does indeed seem like a powerful deterrent to any predator, especially when delivered directly to the predator’s body by a an eel flinging itself out of the water.“We’ve known these animals give off a huge amount of electricity, and everybody thought that was really amazing,” Catania said. “But they aren’t just simple animals that go around shocking stuff. They’ve evolved to produce stronger and stronger electrical discharges, and in concert they’ve evolved these behaviors to more efficiently use them.”An electric eel (Electrophorus electricus) at the New England Aquarium in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo via Wikimedia Commons, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.CITATIONCatania, K.C. (2016). Leaping eels electrify threats, supporting Humboldt’s account of a battle with horses. PNAS. doi:10.1073/pnas.1604009113Catania, K. C. (2017). Power Transfer to a Human during an Electric Eel’s Shocking Leap. Current Biology. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2017.08.034Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001center_img Animals, Environment, Fish, Research, Video, Videos, Wildlife last_img

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