The Shocking Truth About Electric Animals! | Summary and Q&A

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June 9, 2014
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The Shocking Truth About Electric Animals!

TL;DR

There are over 8,600 electroreceptive animals in the world that can feel electric fields, using it for various purposes such as hunting and communication.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How do electroreceptive animals sense their surroundings?

Electroreceptive animals have special cells called electrocytes, which create electric fields around them. They use these fields to sense their surroundings and gather information about food, predators, and their immediate environment.

Q: How many species of fish are capable of electrogenesis?

There are 716 known species of fish that are capable of electrogenesis, meaning they can generate electric fields and even strong electric shocks.

Q: Are there any animals other than fish that are electroreceptive?

Yes, although rare, there are exceptions. For example, the duck-billed platypus is an electroreceptive mammal.

Q: Why haven't humans evolved the ability to generate electric fields?

Humans have evolved to rely more on sight and hearing, which are more energy-efficient senses compared to electrogenesis. Additionally, using electric fields would come with the risk of self-electrocution.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • There are around 8,600 animals in the world that have the ability to feel electric fields, using electroreceptivity to gather information about their environment.

  • Electroreceptive animals have evolved this ability independently, in a process called convergent evolution, with most of them being amphibians or fish.

  • Some electroreceptive animals, like electric fish, have evolved the ability to generate electric fields, which they use for sensing, communication, and even hunting.

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