The moray eel is I believe one of the most misjudged creatures on the reef. “He was trying to bite me” is something I have heard from many a misinformed diver. When you explain how amazing they are and that they are just breathing it puts a whole new light on them. So, not that I need to convince you of their amazingness, but here are 5 amazing facts about the slithery moray eel.
Moray eels have 2 sets of jaws- one jaw is located further back and can come forward when trying to capture their prey. When the first set of closes on their prey the second one launches forward and grabs onto it and pulls it backwards into the throat. Moray eels can even eat SHARKS!! Moray eels are the only known species to use the second jaw as a weapon against their prey.
We only come out at night
Most of them are nocturnal. Eels can’t actually see too well so they rely on mainly smell to hunt because of this they don’t mind the darkness. The dark also provides more cover for the predators so their prey can’t see their attack!
They come in a large number of sizes
The biggest moray eel can grow up to 9-10ft long which is bigger than a human and a bottlenose dolphin!! The smallest moray eel is the minute moray which only grows up to 14cm. Also, the giant moray eel can weigh at least 66lbs\30kg and the Abbotts moray can weigh only 30g.
How many species are there?
There are about 200 different types of species some of which are fresh water, salt water and brackish water (which is when the water is only slightly salty because the river water is mixing with seawater.)
The green moray eel is actually brown.
The color comes from the mucus that makes them look green and also makes them really slimy so that they can slip into small cracks and holes without damaging their skin. They will stay in these small cracks and holes and wait for their prey.