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True Eels

Freshwater Eels, Other Families Of Eels

The true eels are elongate bony fish with a snakelike slimy body in the order Anguilliformes. There is one family of freshwater eels (the Anguillidae), and 25 families of exclusively marine eels. The freshwater eels must return to the oceans to spawn.

The general characteristics of eels include soft-rayed fins and elongate dorsal and anal fins which merge with the caudal fin. Eels lack pelvic fins and have small pectoral fins commonly situated immediately behind the head. The jaws of eels are relatively small, but are strong, with numerous small teeth. Most ocean-living eels do not have scales, although the freshwater eels have small, oval-shaped scales embedded in their skin.

All eels are predators, feeding on a wide range of prey, including small fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and worms.


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