Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Danger! High voltage

The rather ugly character below is Torpedo panthera, the Panther Electric Ray. Electric rays come in a range of sizes and voltages, this species, found in the Red Sea, is one of the smaller ones. Electric rays carry two large electric organs capable of giving a hefty shock to aggressors. There are even stories of the larger species injuring anglers who hook them by sending a charge up the line.
Their capabilities mean they will occasionally swim across the reef with impunity even though they are, to be frank, pretty poor swimmers. They much prefer chilling on the bottom though which is where I found this second larger Torpedo.

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