Bucket of Eels: Eurypharynx pelecanoides

Welcome to today’s bucket of eels. I’m Rose. Let’s pull out some eels, shall we? Today’s eel: every edition of this newsletter is named after an eel. Today’s is the pelican eel, also known as the gulper eel (Eurypharynx pelecanoides). This is an eel that perhaps you’ve seen photos or videos of. As its common names imply, it has a truly gigantic mouth. Like absurdly big. The gulper eel is a deep sea species, rarely seen by humans. In fact most of what we know about the physiology of gulper eels we learn by accident, when deep sea fishing nets catch the poor creatures and drag them up to their empyrean deaths. This tragedy has led us to learn some incredibly cool things about these eels though, like the fact that at the very end of their tail, they have an organ called a photophore that glows pink.

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