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How do some fish generate electricity?

The electricity-generating properties of fish have been known for over 200 years now. These fish use electricity for multiple purposes, such as defending themselves or stunning their preys.

Image result for electric fish animated

How do they do it?

The electricity-generating fish have certain organs known as electric organs near their tails. Through the nervous system, a signal is sent by the brain to the electric organs. The electric organs house a stack of thousands of disk shaped cells. These cells are known as electrocytes. These electrocytes emit cations(positive ions) to create a negative charge inside and a positive charge outside. When these cells receive a signal from the brain, gates on the cells open up which causes the positive ions to flow back in.

Image result for electrocytes

Now, one side of the electrocyte is positively charged outside and negatively charged inside. The other side of the cell is just the opposite, i.e. it is positively charged inside and negatively charged outside. This change in charge at the two ends causes electricity to flow.

Weakly-electric and strongly-electric

There are two categories of electricity-generating fish: The Weakly-electric fish and the Strongly-electric fish. As the names suggest, the two types can generate-electricity of different magnitudes. The weakly electric fish use this electricity for several purposes such as navigation and locating prey. However, these cannot use electricity for hunting purposes. This is restricted to the strongly electric fish, such as the electric eel or the electric catfish.

 

So, what thoughts do you have in mind. Let me know in the comments section below.

 

p.s. Am I the only one reminded of pokemons?!!

 

 

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