Story: Eels

Fat head

Fat head

The head of a female longfin eel still living in its freshwater home is blunt with a bulbous dome behind the eyes. When the eel migrates to spawn in tropical sea water, the head becomes sleeker as muscle is lost. The eyes and pectoral fins also enlarge. The eel will not feed again, and dies after spawning.

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Natural Sciences Image Library of New Zealand
Reference: DSCF9226Smd
Photograph by Peter E. Smith

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How to cite this page:

Paddy Ryan, 'Eels - Life cycle and breeding grounds', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 7 December 2023)

Story by Paddy Ryan, published 24 Sep 2007