- Porcupine Pufferfish
- Green Moray Eel
- Electric Eel
- Caribe Piranhas
Our Porcupine Puffer is named Puff Mamma! On several occasions she has become pleasantly plump and expelled thousands of eggs into her tank making it look like a 1,000-gallon snow globe. They do not produce baby puffers without a male around to fertilize the eggs. The infertile eggs would rot and foul the water, so they must be quickly removed. Her favorite food is crabs. From time to time, we offer her a live crab, which is a natural food item. She gets to use her strong teeth and powerful jaws that are perfectly adapted for crushing and consuming the entire shellfish. it is cosmopolitan, meaning it is found in the tropical Oceans, Seas and Gulfs around the world. Their strong teeth are fused together to form a powerful "beak-like" structure. They eat various "shellfish" such as crabs, shrimp, snails, etc., which they simply crush with their strong teeth. Their teeth continually grow, so from time to time the puffer will chew on shells, rock, or coral to maintain their teeth. Our specimen will bite off concrete and chew it down to gravel. When ours inflates she is the size of a basketball (though we don't want her to do so) Puffers exhibit facial recognition and in captivity will eagerly greet their keepers and often back away from strangers.
Green Moray Eel
Green moray eels are the largest eels – up to eight feet long – and can be found all along the Atlantic from New Jersey to Bermuda and in the Gulf of Mexico going southward to Brazil.
About the Memphis Zoo Green Moray Eel
"Igor, Jr.", a.k.a. "Junior," was named after our previous green moray eel, "Igor."
The Romans were very fond of moray eels and kept them as pets. Legend says that one Roman entertained his dinner guests by feeding disobedient slaves to his morays.
These eels breathe by opening and closing their mouths which passes water and oxygen over their gills. Because this shows off their sharp teeth, the behavior is often mistaken as aggression.
Green moray eels only appear to be green. Their leathery skin is actually slate blue. The yellow mucous that protects their skin from bacteria and parasites gives the eel its green hue.
Electric Eels are not really eels at all. They are more closely related to the catfish.
About the Memphis Zoo Electric Eel
AAA (Triple A) was named after the battery size. We originally had two Electric Eels, and AAA was the smaller of the two.
One shock isn’t likely to kill a human, but several shocks can cause heart and respiratory problems that can lead to drowning.
Electric eels use a low voltage (10v) charge for navigation and a high voltage (up to 600v) charge for self-defense and hunting.
Can somebody get me a snorkel? About every ten minutes Electric Eels go to the surface to get a gulp of air.
South American fish with razor-sharp teeth ranging from northern Argentina to Colombia, but they are most diverse in the Amazon River, where 20 different species are found.
When large birds feed their young fish from the river. The remains of these fish sometimes fall into the water becoming a meal for the piranha waiting below. The small birds learning to move around the nest and branches sometimes fall into the water too. This availability of food has conditioned the piranhas to attack anything that falls into the waters from these trees. When located, the attacking scout signals the others. This is probably done acoustically, as piranhas have excellent hearing. Everyone in the group rushes in to take a bite and then swims away to make way for the others. This makes the water very dangerous for any animal entering it, especially during the dry season when food is scarce. Piranhas during the dry season are trapped into small pockets of water and become very hungry. However, reports from researchers in the field who have entered these waters report no active aggressive behavior. Still, caution is required of any animal that has been conditioned to a ready food source and there are indeed reports of the fish biting humans in certain fishing areas.
Piranha means "tooth fish" in the Brazilian language of the Tupi people. However, not all piranha species have a taste for blood; some are vegetarian. Most piranhas get a bad rap as terrifying predators that will tear to shreds any flesh that dares dip into its waters. This isn’t true. Some piranhas are omnivorous and eat more seeds than meat, according to Smithsonian magazine.
Most piranhas don't get any bigger than 2 feet (60 centimeters) long.