{green moray FWZ}


Name: Green Moray Eel
Scientific name: Gymnothorax prasinus
Range: Atlantic waters from New Jersey to Brazil
Habitat: Temperate coastal waters from Southeastern Queensland to Shark Bay, Western Australia, including northern Tasmania. 
Status: Not threatened 
Diet in the wild: Carnivorous: octopus and fish
Diet in the zoo: fish
Location in the zoo: James R. Record Aquarium (exhibit closed)

{green moray FWZ}

Physical description: Average Adult Length 5-6 ft max length 10 ft.  Color: blue/grey, but a yellow mucous coating makes it look green.  The head is slender with an elongated mouth.  Their teeth are very sharp and they have a lot of them 
General information

There are 80+ species of eels.  Green Moray Eels are carnivorous animals, and eat small crustaceans, worms, and insects in the ocean.  During the day, they are found in cracks and holes in coral reefs, and in or around shallow waters.  Mature eels have the ability to survive out of water for over four hours and even travel over land.  Some morays are good to eat, some are very toxic.  Morays are very dangerous to humans, but they will not attack unless provoked.

Special anatomical, physiological or behavioral adaptations:

Green Moray Eels have poor sight.  They have no pectoral or pelvic fins.  The eel has a very good sense of smell.  Moray eels must open and close their mouths constantly in order to circulate water over their gills.  Their  mouths also contain very sharp fangs in several rows.  These eels also have also adapted to tie their bodies into knots to tear at their food.

Comments about GREEN MORAY EELS of the Fort Worth Zoo.

The eel keepers really focused on the beauty of the Green Moray Eel. They are all well fed and seem to be content. I believe that they are fed every day, but it might be every other day. They told me that they are very easy to keep up with, and that there is no real maintanance. They are kept on a diet of fish.

Personal Observations:

While at the zoo, I noticed that the eel did not move too much.  The only time that it came out was to eat and it liked to move to different spots in the reef.  Also the eel can manipulate its body to fit into places that you could not think possible.  While I was there I could only see one eel -- the others were hiding in the back in the reef.

What to do in case of encounter with a Eel

1.)  When bit by an eel it will usually not let go.  Pulling away from it will make the skin tear.  To 
       get the eel to let go, you  should try to lure it away with a fish or just cut its head off and pry it 

2.)  After the eel has been taken care of,  clean the afflicted area with clean water.  Remember not to sew or close the wound.

3.)  Most eel bites get infected so get to the doctor immediately for a check-up.

Source Materials and Related Links:

"Undiscovered Florida." Natural History.  July/August 1998.  vol. 107.  pg 35.
"Reef Ecology." Skin Diver.  June 1997.  vol.  46.  pg  2.
"Moray." Encyclopedia Britannica.  vol.  8.  Ed.  Philip Goetz.  Chicago: 
     Encylopedia Britannica, Inc., 1987.  311.
Fort Worth Zoo
CyberKids - EELS
Australian Museum Online


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