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Pelican Eel

Dragon
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Post by Dragon Sat Nov 21, 2020 4:22 am

The pelican eel (Eurypharynx pelecanoides) is a deep-sea eel rarely seen by humans, though it is occasionally caught in fishing nets.

The pelican eel has been described by many synonyms, yet nobody has been able to demonstrate that more than one species of pelican eel exists.

It is also referred to as the gulper eel (which can also refer to members of the related genus Saccopharynx), pelican gulper, and umbrella-mouth gulper.

Pelican eel specimens can be hard to describe, as they are so fragile that they become damaged when recovered from the immense pressure of the deep sea.

The pelican eel's most notable feature is its large mouth, which is much larger than its body.

The mouth is loosely hinged, and can be opened wide enough to swallow a fish much larger than the eel itself.

The pouch-like lower jaw resembles that of a pelican, hence its name.

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Post by Dragon Sat Nov 21, 2020 4:24 am

Pelican Eel 640px-Eurypharynx_pelecanoides

The pelican eel uses a whip-like tail for movement.

The end of the tail bears a complex organ with numerous tentacles, which glows pink and gives off occasional bright-red flashes. The colors on its tail are displayed through its light-emitting photophores.

This is presumably a lure to attract prey,

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Post by Dragon Sat Nov 21, 2020 4:26 am

Pelican Eel 567px-Eurypharynx_pelecanoides_SI
By Sandra Raredon/Smithsonian Institution

Conventional and X-ray images

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Post by Dragon Sat Nov 21, 2020 4:28 am



Gulper Eel Balloons Its Massive Jaws

The Nautilus team spotted a gulper eel (Eurypharynx pelecanoides) doing just that in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

Its pouch-like mouth can inflate in an instant, scooping up much larger prey just like a pelican--and giving it that muppet-like look! This gulper eel was likely a juvenile, as this species can grow up to three feet in length.


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Post by Dragon Sat Nov 21, 2020 4:31 am



The Gulper Eel (AKA Pelican Eel) is a rarely encountered deep sea creature known for its creepy 'smile'.

Its jaws are of a highly unusual structure and allow for a 'ballooning' of the mouth in order to capture prey.

Often cited as one of the scariest of the strange oddities found in the deep oceans, Gulper Eels have increasingly come into contact with humans as ROV encounters continue.



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