Electrophorus

Electric eel

Electric eel, Electrophorus electricus

Not related to saltwater or migratory eels, this South American fish has an elegantly minimal method of moving through water. This is mostly achieved by a parabolic wave generated through the long ventral fin. The tiny pectoral fins may steer. Most of the body is taken up by electricity generating tissue. An adult may produce a 500-watt charge. The digestive and reproductive organs are confined to a small area just behind the head. Exhibited at New York’s Central Park Zoo more than a century ago, it has long been a popular aquarium display.