Electrical discharges, a formidable weapon
Electric rays, called torpedo rays are capable of producing an electric discharge ranging from 8 to 220 volts of tension depending on species. These discharges are used in order to defend itself or to stun its prey. Though they are very painful, the electric discharge is generally not lethal because the current emited is continuous the electrons circulate constantly in the same direction, unlike alternating current electrons circulate alternately in both directions of the circuit. In water, the human body is more resistant to electricity, especially in the case of high voltage. These electric discharges only involve, in an exceptional way, a fibrillation of the heart. Most of the time, they may stunned the diver and provoke his drowning.
The electric ray is equiped with two large electric organs on each side of its head behind the eyes. After a landfill, torpedo ray have to wait several days, until their power reserve is restored, before they can reuse the weapon. The electric ray have inspired Japanese researchers for creating inovative electric generators. Currently they are attempting to analyze the electrical organ of the torpedo ray and to reproduce it.
Many species of electric rays
There are over 50 species of electric rays who live in all oceans of the planet. They lie in wait for prey below the sandy bottoms.
Torpedo nobiliana is the largest known electric ray. It lives in the North Atlantic Ocean. Its size is up to 1.8 m long and weight 90 kg. On the other hand, Narcine brasiliensis is the smallest electric ray in the world. It inhabits reefs along the western coast of the Atlantic Ocean from North Carolina to Northern Argentina.