Just like in every family, there is a hierarchy in the family of rays. It starts with the manta ray, then goes to the coffin ray, and ends with Sugar Ray Robinson. Somewhere between Ray Charles and Everybody Loves Raymond, resides the electric ray. These placid familial relations belie a more sinister side of the electric ray. For example, the electric ray may be wholly responsible for Pearl Harbor.
Well, not entirely. But a modern weapon actually gets its name from the genus of the electric ray (genus torpedo). Like its electric counterparts, the electric ray uses its charge to ward off predators and stun its prey. It also incorporates the same acute electrical sensors that the hammerhead does. The potency of this combination is augmented when the severity of the electric ray’s shock is added to the equation. Like the coffin ray, the electric ray can release a charge of up to 200 volts. However, the old adage “it’s not the volts that kills you, it’s the amps,” is indeed true. This is where the electric ray climbs its way up the ladder. The electric ray can release up to 30 amps. This is more than enough to kill you if the conditions are right. Before you grab your pitchforks and torches, you should be comforted in knowing that electric rays are not aggressive. However electric rays have been known to become very prissy after being used as defibrillators by cavemen.
You knew it had to be on this list. The electric eel has nearly mythical status among us legwalkers. If the animal kingdom were the movie Con Air (which it will be for the purposes of this analogy), the electric eel would be Steve Buscemi. In fact, the electric eel isn’t even an "eel" at all. It’s more closely related to the knifefish family, including the black ghost knifefish which, judging by the name, probably resembles The Predator.
The electric eel, not to be outdone by its electric compatriots, has three electrical organs. These organs not only make up most of its body- they all serve different purposes. You can be sure that the electric eel isn’t trying to compensate for anything else. The hunter’s organ is used for hunting and represents a perfect example of creative naming in the scientific community. Meanwhile, the Sachs organ is used for electro-location. When the electric eel isn’t busy discharging up to 500 volts, it’s growing to sizes sometimes reaching 8 feet. Because these creatures have atrocious eyesight, swimming with one of these is like playing Marco-Polo with a man-sized hairdryer. Just hope you don’t disturb it - once the electric eel begins to release its powerful surges, it can keep releasing them for hours. If man is to have any chance at surviving in the future- it is imperative that we formulate a plan to control these vicious electric beasts.Written by Zachary Alan – Copyrighted © www.weirdworm.com Image Sources
- - Electric Catfish: http://aqualandpetsplus.com/Catfis278.jpg
- - The Hammerhead Shark: http://mail.colonial.net/~hkaiter/imagextras/Scalloped_Hammerhead_Shark.jpg
- - Coffin Ray: http://www.elasmodiver.com/images/Coffin-ray-01.jpg
- - Electric Ray: http://www.elasmodiver.com/images/lesser-electric-ray-top-pro.jpg
- - Electric Eel: http://monsterrebellion.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/predator3.jpg http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/j/msnbc/Components/Photo/_new/081021-electric-eel-vmed.widec.jpg