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Encyclopedia > Moray Eel
Moray eel

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Superorder: Elopomorpha
Order: Anguilliformes
Family: Muraenidae
Genera

See text. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (3072 × 2304 pixel, file size: 614 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Picture of a moray eel taken on the Maldives by Michael Ströck (mstroeck) in 2006. ... For other uses, see Scientific classification (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... Typical Classes See below Chordates (phylum Chordata) are a group of animals that includes the vertebrates, together with several closely related invertebrates. ... Orders See text The Actinopterygii are the ray-finned fish. ... Orders Elopiformes Albuliformes Notacanthiformes Anguilliformes Saccopharyngiformes Elopomorpha is a group of Teleostei fishes that contains: Elopiformes Elopidae Megalopidae Albuliformes Albulidae Notacanthiformes Halosauridae Notacanthidae Anguilliformes Anguilloidei Nemichthyoidei Congroidei Synaphobranchoidei Saccopharyngiformes Cyematidae Saccopharyngidae Eurypharyngidae Monognathidae Categories: | ... The Anguilliformes (true eels) are an order of bony fishes. ... For other uses, see Genus (disambiguation). ...

Moray eels are large cosmopolitan eels of the family Muraenidae. There are approximately 200 species in 15 genera. The typical length of a moray is 1.5 m (5 ft), with the largest being the slender giant moray, Strophidon sathete, at up to 4 m (13 ft). A cosmopolitan distribution is a term applied to a biological category of living things meaning that this category can be found anywhere around the world. ... For other uses, see Eel (disambiguation). ... The hierarchy of scientific classification In biological classification, family (Latin: familia, plural familiae) is a rank, or a taxon in that rank. ... This article is about the unit of length. ... A foot (plural: feet; symbol or abbreviation: ft or, sometimes, ′ – a prime) is a unit of length, in a number of different systems, including English units, Imperial units, and United States customary units. ... Binomial name (Hamilton, 1822) The slender giant moray or gangetic moray, Strophidon sathete, is the largest member of the family of moray eels. ...

Contents

Anatomy

Muraena helena showing typical moral eel morphology: robust anguilliform shape, lack of pectoral fins and circular gill openings.
Muraena helena showing typical moral eel morphology: robust anguilliform shape, lack of pectoral fins and circular gill openings.

The dorsal fin of the moray extends from just behind the head, along the back and joins seamlessly with the caudal and anal fins. Most species lack pectoral and pelvic fins, adding to their snake-like appearance. Their eyes are rather small; morays rely on their highly developed sense of smell, lying in wait to ambush prey. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2304 × 1728 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2304 × 1728 pixel, file size: 1. ... Species See text. ... Fish anatomy is primarily governed by the physical characteristics of water, which is much denser than air, holds a relatively small amount of dissolved oxygen, and absorbs light more than does air. ... For other uses, see Gill (disambiguation). ... Dorsal fin of an orca A dorsal fin is a fin located on the backs of fishes, whales, dolphins, and porpoises, as well as the (extinct) ichthyosaurs. ... Fish anatomy is primarily governed by the physical characteristics of water, which is much denser than air, holds a relatively small amount of dissolved oxygen, and absorbs light more than does air. ... Fish anatomy is primarily governed by the physical characteristics of water, which is much denser than air, holds a relatively small amount of dissolved oxygen, and absorbs light more than does air. ... Fish anatomy is primarily governed by the physical characteristics of water, which is much denser than air, holds a relatively small amount of dissolved oxygen, and absorbs light more than does air. ... Fish anatomy is primarily governed by the physical characteristics of water, which is much denser than air, holds a relatively small amount of dissolved oxygen, and absorbs light more than does air. ...


The body of the moray is patterned, camouflage also being present inside the mouth. Their jaws are wide, with a snout that protrudes forward. They possess large teeth, designed to tear flesh as opposed to holding or chewing. Countershaded Ibex are almost invisible in the Israeli desert. ...

Moray eel jaw anatomy
Moray eel jaw anatomy

Moray eels have a second set of jaws in their throat called pharyngeal jaws, that also possess teeth. When feeding, morays launch these jaws into the oral cavity, where they grasp struggling prey and transport it into the throat and down to the rest of the digestive system. Moray eels are the only known type of animal that uses pharyngeal jaws to actively capture and restrain prey.[1][2][3] Morays are capable of inflicting serious wounds to humans. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 504 pixelsFull resolution (1906 × 1200 pixel, file size: 544 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 504 pixelsFull resolution (1906 × 1200 pixel, file size: 544 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ...


Morays secrete a protective mucus over their smooth scaleless skin which contains a toxin in some species. Morays have much thicker skin and high densities of goblet cells in the epidermis that allows mucus to be produced at a higher rate than in other eel species. This allows sand granules to adhere to the sides of their burrows in sand-dwelling morays[4], thus making the walls of the burrow more permanent due to the glycosylation of mucins in mucus. Their small circular gills, located on the flanks far posterior to the mouth, require the moray to maintain a gape in order to facilitate respiration. Look up Epidermis in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Glycosylation is the process or result of addition of saccharides to proteins and lipids. ... Mucins are a family of large, heavily glycosylated proteins. ... Mucus is a slippery secretion of the lining of the mucous membranes in the body. ... For other uses, see Gill (disambiguation). ...


Morays are carnivorous and feed primarily on other fish, cephalopods, mollusks, and crustaceans. Groupers, other morays, and barracudas are among their few predators. There is a commercial fishery for several species, but some have been known to cause ciguatera fish poisoning. Morays hide in crevices in the reefs, and wait until their prey is close enough for capture. They then jump out and clamp the prey in their strong jaws. This article deals with meat-eating animals. ... For other uses, see Fish (disambiguation). ... Orders Subclass Nautiloidea †Plectronocerida †Ellesmerocerida †Actinocerida †Pseudorthocerida †Endocerida †Tarphycerida †Oncocerida †Discosorida Nautilida †Orthocerida †Ascocerida †Bactritida Subclass †Ammonoidea †Goniatitida †Ceratitida †Ammonitida Subclass Coleoidea †Belemnoidea †Aulacocerida †Belemnitida †Hematitida †Phragmoteuthida Neocoleoidea (most living cephalopods) ?†Boletzkyida Sepiida Sepiolida Spirulida Teuthida Octopoda Vampyromorphida The cephalopods (Greek plural (kephalópoda); head-foot) are the mollusk class... Classes Caudofoveata Aplacophora Polyplacophora Monoplacophora Bivalvia Scaphopoda Gastropoda Cephalopoda † Rostroconchia The mollusks or molluscs are the large and diverse phylum Mollusca, which includes a variety of familiar creatures well-known for their decorative shells or as seafood. ... Classes Remipedia Cephalocarida Branchiopoda Ostracoda Maxillopoda Malacostraca The crustaceans (Crustacea) are a large group of arthropods (55,000 species), usually treated as a subphylum. ... Genera Acanthistius Alphestes Anyperidon Caprodon Cephalopholis Cromileptes Dermatolepis Epinephelus Gonioplectrus Gracila HypoplectrodesLiopropoma Mycteroperca Niphon Paranthias Plectropomus Saloptia Triso Variola For the computer program, see Grouper (Windows application). ... Species See text. ... This snapping turtle is trying to make a meal of a Canada goose, but the goose is too wary. ... Ciguatera fish poisoning (or ciguatera) is an illness caused by eating fish that contain toxins produced by a marine microalgae called Gambierdiscus toxicus. ... For other uses, see Reef (disambiguation). ... Human jaw front view Human jaw left view Human jaw top view The jaw is either of the two opposable structures forming, or near the entrance to, the mouth. ...


Behavior

Cooperative hunting

Ribbon moray,
Rhinomuraena quaesita

In the December 2006 issue of the journal, Public Library of Science Biology, a team of biologists announced the discovery of interspecies cooperative hunting involving morays. The biologists, who were engaged in a study of Red Sea cleaner fish (fish that enter the mouths of other fish to rid them of parasites), discovered that a species of reef-associated grouper, the roving coralgrouper (Plectropomus pessuliferus), often recruited morays to aid them while hunting for food. This is the first discovery of cooperation between fish in general. [5] [6] Image File history File links Ribbon eel (photo by Tom Doeppner) This work is copyrighted, and used with permission. ... Image File history File links Ribbon eel (photo by Tom Doeppner) This work is copyrighted, and used with permission. ... Binomial name Rhinomuraena quaesita (Garman, 1881) The ribbon eel (Rhinomuraena quaesita) is one of the most unique species of saltwater eels. ... Binomial name (Garman, 1888) Synonyms Rhinomuraena amboinensis The ribbon eel, Rhinomuraena quaesita, is a species of saltwater eels, the only member of the genus Rhinomuraena of the Muraenidae (Moray eel) family of order Anguilliformes. ... A biologist is a scientist devoted to and producing results in biology through the study of organisms. ... Location of the Red Sea The Red Sea is an inlet of the Indian Ocean between Africa and Asia. ... The cleaner wrasses Labroides dimidiatus removing dead skin and external parasites from the grouper Epinephelus tukula. ... Genera Acanthistius Alphestes Anyperidon Caprodon Cephalopholis Cromileptes Dermatolepis Epinephelus Gonioplectrus Gracila HypoplectrodesLiopropoma Mycteroperca Niphon Paranthias Plectropomus Saloptia Triso Variola For the computer program, see Grouper (Windows application). ...

Fimbriated moray,Gymnothorax fimbriatus
Fimbriated moray,
Gymnothorax fimbriatus

Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 450 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2448 × 3264 pixels, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 450 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2448 × 3264 pixels, file size: 1. ... Binomial name (Bennett, 1832) The fimbriated moray, Gymnothorax fimbriatus, is a moray eel of the family Muraenidae, found in the Indo-Pacific oceans, around reefs, harbours and small caves, at depths down to 45 meters. ... Binomial name (Bennett, 1832) The fimbriated moray, Gymnothorax fimbriatus, is a moray eel of the family Muraenidae, found in the Indo-Pacific oceans, around reefs, harbours and small caves, at depths down to 45 meters. ...

Reputation

Morays have sometimes been described as vicious or ill-tempered. In fact, morays are shy and secretive, and they only attack humans in self-defense. They also accidentally bite human fingers when being fed, because they cannot see or hear very well, although they have an acute sense of smell. Morays hide from humans and would rather flee than fight. Morays, however, do inflict a nasty bite, because, although not poisonous, their backward-pointing teeth are covered with bacteria which may infect the wound. Another danger that morays present is when they are eaten. If the eels have eaten algae, or fish that have eaten algae, they will cause ciguatera fish poisoning if eaten. Morays rest in crevices during the day and are nocturnal predators, and although they may ensnare small fish and crustaceans that pass near them during the day, they mostly come out at night. [7] Self defense refers to actions taken by a person to defend onself, ones property or ones home. ... For other uses, see Poison (disambiguation). ... Phyla Actinobacteria Aquificae Chlamydiae Bacteroidetes/Chlorobi Chloroflexi Chrysiogenetes Cyanobacteria Deferribacteres Deinococcus-Thermus Dictyoglomi Fibrobacteres/Acidobacteria Firmicutes Fusobacteria Gemmatimonadetes Lentisphaerae Nitrospirae Planctomycetes Proteobacteria Spirochaetes Thermodesulfobacteria Thermomicrobia Thermotogae Verrucomicrobia Bacteria (singular: bacterium) are unicellular microorganisms. ... Algae have conventionally been regarded as simple plants within the study of botany. ... Ciguatera fish poisoning (or ciguatera) is an illness caused by eating fish that contain toxins produced by a marine microalgae called Gambierdiscus toxicus. ... A nocturnal animal is one that sleeps during the day and is active at night - the opposite of the human (diurnal) schedule. ...


Distribution

Ecology

Habitat

Morays frequent tropical and subtropical coral reefs to depths of 150 m, where they spend most of their time concealed inside crevices and alcoves. The tropics are the geographic region of the Earth centered on the equator and limited in latitude by the two tropics: the Tropic of Cancer in the north and the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern hemisphere. ... Some of the biodiversity of a coral reef, in this case the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. ...


Classification

Genera

Goldentail moray, Gymnothorax miliaris
Goldentail moray, Gymnothorax miliaris
  • Anarchias
  • Channomuraena
  • Cirrimaxilla
  • Echidna
  • Enchelycore
  • Enchelynassa
  • Gymnomuraena
  • Gymnothorax
  • Monopenchelys
  • Muraena
  • Pseudechidna
  • Rhinomuraena
  • Scuticaria

Image File history File links Size of this preview: 611 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1536 × 1506 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 611 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1536 × 1506 pixel, file size: 1. ... Species See text. ... Species See text. ... Binomial name Chen & Shao, 1995 Cirrimaxilla formosa is a species of saltwater eels, the only member of the genus Cirrimaxilla of the Muraenidae (Moray eel) family. ... Genera See text Moray eels are large cosmopolitan eels of the family Muraenidae. ... Species See text. ... Binomial name (Quoy & Gaimard, 1824) The viper moray, Enchelynassa formosa, is a species of saltwater eels, the only member of the genus Enchelynassa of the Muraenidae (Moray eel) family. ... Binomial name (Shaw, 1797) The zebra moray, Gymnomuraena zebra, is a species of saltwater eels, the only member of the genus Gymnomuraena of the Muraenidae (Moray eel) family. ... Species See text. ... Binomial name (Parr, 1930) The redface moray, Monopenchelys acuta, is a species of saltwater eels, the only member of the genus Monopenchelys of the Muraenidae (Moray eel) family. ... Species See text. ... Binomial name (Bleeker, 1859) The white ribbon eel, Pseudechidna brummeri, is a species of saltwater eels, the only member of the genus Pseudechidna of the Muraenidae (Moray eel) family. ... Binomial name (Garman, 1888) Synonyms Rhinomuraena amboinensis The ribbon eel, Rhinomuraena quaesita, is a species of saltwater eels, the only member of the genus Rhinomuraena of the Muraenidae (Moray eel) family of order Anguilliformes. ... Species See text. ...

References

  1. ^ Mehtal, Rita S.; Peter C. Wainwright (2007-09-06). "Raptorial jaws in the throat help moray eels swallow large prey". Nature(journal) 449: 79-82. doi:10.1038/nature06062. Retrieved on 2007-09-06. 
  2. ^ Hopkin, Michael (2007-09-05). Eels imitate alien: Fearsome fish have protruding jaws in their throats to grab prey.. News. Nature.com. DOI:10.1038/news070903-11. Retrieved on 2007-09-06.
  3. ^ National Science Foundation (Sep. 5, 2007)
  4. ^ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=8876820&ordinalpos=20&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
  5. ^ http://www.livescience.com/animalworld/061207_fish_cooperation.html
  6. ^ http://biology.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pbio.0040431
  7. ^ http://biology.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pbio.0040431
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Muraenidae

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Moray Eel (Muraenidae spp.): A Dangerous Ocean Organism of Hawai`i (523 words)
Moray eels are usually brightly marked or colored.
Morays are eaten sometimes, but their flesh is often toxic and may cause sickness or death.
Morays enjoy rocky areas, can be found living or just "hanging out" in holes, under rocks, crevices and tidepool ledges.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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