It is almost the end of the week and so far we have talked about birds, mammals and reptiles. I figured this would be a good time to head to the sea and look at an unusual animal that is hardly ever seen by humans. So grab your diving gear and a little bit of courage because we are going to the deep, dark depths of the ocean!
The Pelican Eel is related to the true eels (the ones that we probably familiar with), however, these deep sea eels have some major differences. Most notably has to be the size of this particular eels mouth. The pelican eel has a very large, hinged mouth that is capable of consuming fish much larger than itself. You can see the size of the mouth in the picture above. Actually, this eel received the “Pelican” portion of its name since the lower job resembles the pouch-like beak of a pelican. The most bizarre thing about their mouth is the fact that the pelican eel mostly feeds on small crustaceans. As a matter of fact, they have tiny teeth which are not consistent with animals which feed primarily on fish.
The other interesting feature of this eel is located at the other end of their body. The very tip of their tail happens to be a very complex organ with several tentacles. The cool thing about this organ is the fact that it will glow pink. Scientists presume this feature is to attract fish into the area so it can chomp away at them with their extremely over-sized mouth. Again, this is an odd behaviour for an animal that is suppose to feed on small crustaceans. I am starting to think there is something “fishy” about our understanding of this eel. It just doesn’t make sense to me why they have evolved a large mouth, an attractive tail yet have small teeth and are known to feed on small creatures. Maybe they are in the process of changing for whatever reason? Whatever their story is at least it is an interesting one for all of us to read about.
That just about does it for today’s deep sea adventure. I am glad everyone made the trip and had a safe adventure. See all of you tomorrow!