The Pelican Eel has an elongate body with a luminous organ at the end of the tail. The Gulper Eel occurs in midwaters of tropical and temperate seas worldwide. The eyes are tiny and close to the snout. There are several rows of small teeth in the massive jaws. The species is black, sometimes with a white line or groove on either side of the dorsal fin.
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Eurypharynx pelecanoides , 90 cm head to tail. We made two versions of this species. The names are derived from its most notable feature: Its large mouth.
The jaw is loosely hinged, as seen in modern snakes, making it able to be opened extremely widely. Contrary to some deep-sea fish, Pelican Eels have tiny teeth, implying that the large mouth is probably used like a large net; The Pelican Eel can swim into a group of shrimp or other crustaceans with its mouth wide open, scooping them up as it goes.
When the eel gulps its prey into its massive jaws, it also takes in a large amount of water, which is then slowly expelled through its gill slits. The Pelican Eel is the only known member of the genus Eurypharynx and the family Eurypharyngidae.
It belongs to the order Saccopharyngiformes , which is closely related to the true eels in Anguilliformes. Contrary to true eels, gulper eels lack pelvic fins, swim bladders, and scales. Unlike many other deepsea creatures, it has very small eyes. They are found in temperate and tropical areas of all oceans and lives in depths from to metres.
The gulper eel uses its long 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. This is presumably a lure to attract prey, although its presence at the far end of the body from the mouth suggests the eel may have to adopt an unusual posture to use it effectively.
Client The Blue Planet, Copenhagen.
Source: Ken Graham. License: All rights reserved. A bizarre deep-water eel with an enormous mouth, extremely long jaws, pore-like gill openings and a very expandable pharynx and stomach. Pelican eels lack scales and are covered in black velvety skin. They have a very long tapering compressed tail tipped with a small pinkish light organ. The skull is tiny in comparison with the huge mouth and jaws. Pelican Eels live in the deep oceanic midwaters and mostly feed on deep-sea crustaceans captured in their huge mouths.
Eurypharynx pelecanoides , 90 cm head to tail. We made two versions of this species. The names are derived from its most notable feature: Its large mouth. The jaw is loosely hinged, as seen in modern snakes, making it able to be opened extremely widely.
Gastrostomus pacificus Macropharynx longicaudatus Gastrostomus bairdii Eurypharynx richardi Leptocephalus pseudolatissimus. The pelican eel Eurypharynx pelecanoides is a deep-sea eel rarely seen by humans, though it is occasionally caught in fishing nets. It is the only known member of the genus Eurypharynx and the family Eurypharyngidae. It belongs to the " saccopharyngiforms ", members of which were historically placed in their own order, but are now considered true eels in the order Anguilliformes. 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.