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Gulper Eel



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The Gulper Eel (Eurypharynx pelecanoides) is a long, huge-jawed bony fish that lives at depths of 5000 to 9000 feet (1500 to 2750 m). This eel is found in all oceans in warm temperate and tropical waters.

Anatomy: The Gulper Eel is not much more than a set of huge, weak jaws with a very long stomach. Its body is not very muscular. The Gulper is about 2 feet (0.6 m) long on average. It has tiny eyes and a small, reddish light at the tip of the tail. The spineless fins are joined and extend over the entire body. The scales covering the body are tiny; there are over a hundred scales per square inch of skin.

Diet: This fish eats other fish, shrimp and plankton (copepods). It gets its prey by acting like a living net, swimming onto the prey with a large, open mouth. It can eat prey that is larger than itself, but generally doesn't.

Classification: Class Osteichthyes (bony fish), Subclass Actinopterygii (ray-finned fish), Order Anguilliformes (true eels), Family Saccopharyngidae (Eurypharyngidae), Genus Eurypharynx, species E. pelecanoides.

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