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Newly-Discovered Electric Eel Can Deliver a Shocking 860 Volts

Researchers who discovered the eel species in the Amazon say that it's "the strongest bioelectricity generator known." It can deliver 860 volts, which is well over the current record of 650 volts.

They've named it Electrophorus voltai after the Italian scientist Alessandro Volta, who invented the electric battery. It's one of three Amazonian electric eel species that this research team cataloged. The Guardian reports:

The findings, published on Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, theorise that the three species evolved from a shared ancestor millions of years ago. [...]
And they suggest that the particularly strong electric shock that E. voltai can produce could be an adaptation to life in highland waters, where conductivity is reduced.
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.

-via Dave Barry | Photo: Leandro Sousa/Getty

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