Electric Organ


Electric Organs

Organ, Electric

Organs, Electric

In about 250 species of electric fishes, modified muscle fibers forming disklike multinucleate plates arranged in stacks like batteries in series and embedded in a gelatinous matrix. A large torpedo ray may have half a million plates. Muscles in different parts of the body may be modified, i.e., the trunk and tail in the electric eel, the hyobranchial apparatus in the electric ray, and extrinsic eye muscles in the stargazers. Powerful electric organs emit pulses in brief bursts several times a second. They serve to stun prey and ward off predators. A large torpedo ray can produce of shock of more than 200 volts, capable of stunning a human. (Storer et al., General Zoology, 6th ed, p672)