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eel

eel, common name for any fish in the order Anguilliformes, and characterized by a long snakelike body covered with minute scales embedded in the skin. Eels lack the hind pair of fins, adapting them for wriggling in the mud and through the crevices of reefs and rocky shores. Most species are marine; the largest and most diverse group is the family Ophichthidae, the snake eels. Other large families are the conger eels, family Congridae, and the moray eels, family Muraenidae. Sharp-toothed and vicious, moray eels have a highly developed second set of jaws (pharyngeal jaws) that hold and pull prey into the throat after the main jaws snare it. The only freshwater eels are those of the family Anguillidae. The freshwater European eel, Anguilla anguilla, is found in the Atlantic coastal regions of Europe and the Mediterranean area; A. rostrata, the American eel, in North America E of the Rockies. Several other freshwater species are native to Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific.

The mature European eel migrates 3,000 to 4,000 mi (4,828–6,437 km) to its spawning ground in the deep sea SW of Bermuda, a journey lasting several months; they use ocean currents to help them swim there, where they reproduce and then die. The young hatch as transparent ribbonlike larvae (called glass eels) that drift north and east on ocean currents for three years before entering a river; they then develop into elvers, tiny versions of the adult eel. The American eel follows the same pattern, except that the young require only one year to reach freshwater.

Once in freshwater, the developing elvers feed voraciously on dead and living animals, even traveling over short stretches of land in search of frogs and lizards. They hunt at night and rest by day. The male, which attains a length of 2 ft (61 cm), remains at the river's mouth, while the female (4 ft/122 cm) swims upstream, staying there from 5 to 20 years. When the eels are sexually mature their enormous appetite wanes, and they do not eat during migration to the spawning ground. Their oily flesh is regarded by some as a delicacy; the skin was formerly used as leather.

Eels are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Actinopterygii, order Anguilliformes.

See studies by R. Schweld (2002) and J. Prosek (2010).

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Eel

Eel

The eel, popularly known for the electrical properties of some species, has been credited with many marvelous virtues. If left to die out of the water, its body steeped in strong vinegar and the blood of a vulture, and the whole placed under a dung-hill, the composition is said to be able to raise from the dead anything brought to it and give it life as before. It has also been said that anyone who eats the still-warm heart of an eel will be seized with the spirit of prophecy and will predict things to come.

Eels figure in the folklore of many countries. The Egyptians worshiped the eel, which their priests alone had the right to eat. In Polynesian, Melanesian, and Indonesian stories, men are sometimes transformed into eels. In the Philippines, eels were believed to be the souls of the dead. In New Zealand, an eel head was eaten to cure toothache. In other countries, eel skins were laid on wounds to heal them. In the United States, there was a folk tradition that eels eat human flesh, and some fishermen were reputed to have caught large quantities of eels with human bait.

In the eighteenth century, magic eels were made of flour and the juice of mutton. There is an anecdote told by William of Malmesbury about a dean of the church of Elgin, in the county of Moray in Scotland, who, having refused to cede his church to some pious monks, was changed, with all his canons, into eels, which the brother cook made into a stew.

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eel

eel A long thin fish, Anguilla anguilla; the conger eel is Conger myriaster. Eels live in rivers but go to sea to breed. A 100‐g portion is a rich source of protein, niacin, and vitamins A, D, and B12; a good source of niacin and vitamin B2; a source of vitamins B1 and B6; contains 20 g of fat and supplies 300 kcal (1260 kJ).

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eel

eel / ēl/ • n. a snakelike fish (order Anguilliformes, esp. the family Anguillidae) with a slender elongated body and poorly developed fins. ∎  used in names of unrelated fishes that resemble the true eels, e.g., electric eel, moray eel. DERIVATIVES: eel·like / -ˌlīk/ adj.

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eel

eel Marine and freshwater fish found worldwide in shallow temperate and tropical waters. Eels have snake-like bodies, dorsal and anal fins continuous with the tail, and an air bladder connected to the throat. Length: up to 3m (10ft). Types include freshwater, moray and conger. Order Anguilliformes.

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eel

eel. OE. ǣl = OS., OHG. āl (Du., G. aal), ON. áll :- Gmc. ǣlaz, of unkn. orig.

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eel

eelallele, anele, anneal, appeal, Bastille, Beale, Castile, chenille, cochineal, cockatiel, conceal, congeal, creel, deal, eel, Emile, feel, freewheel, genteel, Guayaquil, heal, heel, he'll, keel, Kiel, kneel, leal, Lille, Lucille, manchineel, meal, misdeal, Neil, O'Neill, ordeal, peal, peel, reel, schlemiel, seal, seel, she'll, spiel, squeal, steal, steel, Steele, teal, underseal, veal, weal, we'll, wheel, zeal •airmobile • Dormobile • snowmobile •Popemobile • bookmobile •automobile • piecemeal •sweetmeal, wheatmeal •fishmeal • inchmeal • cornmeal •wholemeal • bonemeal • oatmeal •kriegspiel • bonspiel • Glockenspiel •newsreel • imbecile • Jugendstil •cartwheel • treadwheel • millwheel •pinwheel • flywheel • gearwheel •waterwheel

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EEL

EEL Physics electron energy loss

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