Moray eels are commonly known by their snake-like appearance and vicious behavior when disturbed. There is a lot more to these slithering swimmers than most people may know. Below you’ll find facts and information on this fascinating creature.
1. There are approximately 200 different types of moray eel species currently known.
2. Though the moray eel looks similar to a snake, they are a type of fish.
3. Moray eels are generally not aggressive creatures unless disturbed. If a moray eel feels threatened they may become vicious.
4. Moray eels have many sharp teeth within a large jaw. Some species of this eel will have long canine teeth throughout that could easily tear through flesh, while others have smaller nodular teeth.
5. Their colors generally range from brown-yellow to black with lighter undersides. Different species of this eel will have a wide range of unique and beautiful patterns.
6. Most moray eels are found where there are temperate and tropical water temperatures.
7. Moray eels usually live within holes of an ocean reef.
8. The moray eel feeds by waiting for prey to swim by their hole. They usually feed upon fish, but will occasionally dine on crustaceans or octopus.
9. When feeding, the moray eel may tie their body into a knot in order to anchor in place while devouring their food.
10. When you look at a moray eel, they will hold their mouth open for the majority of time. This may appear vicious and intimidating, however the reason this eel does this is to allow water through their gills in order to breath.
11. When the moray eel mates, the male and female will wrap themselves together for hours at a time until the male has fertilized the eggs that the female has produced.
12. When in the wild, never attempt to feed a moray eel as this is the most common reason for an attack. The eel will lash out to retrieve the food, and there have been reports of individuals losing pieces of hand or missing fingers because of this.
13. Though most commonly you will hear of moray eels dwelling in the ocean, there are also types of moray eels that live in freshwater as well.