From ArticleWorld

A true eel is a fish of the order Anguilliformes, the larva of the eel is called a leptocephalus, and a baby eel is called an elver. Ranging in sizes up to three meters long, the eel family consists of over 400 species.



The fins of eels are always spineless, and the anal fins are long, usually connecting with the tail fin. They have no belly or chest fins. The number of gills can range from none at all to as many as fifty-one. The scales of the eel are absent.


Most eels are fierce predators, preferring to dwell in shallow waters, or at the bottom of the ocean, sometimes hiding in holes. A few types of eel dwell in very deep water, swimming to depths of 4000 meters.


The European eel (Anguilla anguilla) was the one most familiar to Western scientists, beginning with Aristotle, who did the first known research on eels. He stated that they were earth worms, which emerged from the mud. He said that they grew from the ‘’guts of wet soil’’. Until 1893, larval eels were considered a separate species, Leptocephalus brevirostris. Around this time, Italian zoologist Giovanni Batista Grassi witnessed the transformation of a Leptocephalus, into a round glass eel, in the Mediterranean Sea, and French zoologist Yves Delage proved, in a laboratory, that both leptocephalus and eels were the same species.


  • Hand netting is the only legal method of catching eels in England.
  • It is a common myth that wallets made from Electric eels will demagnitize credit cards.
  • Some scientists theorize that the Loch Ness Monster might actually be a giant eel.