Stick around at the Amazon exhibit in the Canaccord Financial Exploration Gallery and you’ll be rewarded with a light and sound show – especially during feeding time.

Staff member Richard C. is "blown away" by the electric eel.

Staff member Richard C. is “blown away” by the electric eel.

While it may appear like someone is rapidly flicking the light switch on and off, it’s actually the animal inside the exhibit that is responsible for powering up the display – the electric eel (Electrophorus electricus).

This animal has made quite the impression on Richard C., the Aquarium’s development officer for grants. He nominated it for the Staff Pick of the Month. He says, “When I walk past at feeding time I am really blown away and impressed… It is quite a spectacle.”

Check the daily show schedule to see the feeding times.

This fish (it’s not a true eel) creates an electrical field that helps it navigate the murky waters of the Amazon River Basin. It can also stun prey and zap predators with the electricity it produces.

Aquarium biologist Michael M. takes care when cleaning the inside of the electric eel habitat (with the animal still inside).

Aquarium biologist Michael M. takes care when cleaning the inside of the electric eel habitat (with the animal still inside).

Beyond the special effects, Richard enjoys watching the electric eel – “I’m always struck by how deliberate it seems to be in its movements. Constantly exploring the habitat and searching nooks and crevices, it sometimes reminds me of a reef shark in this regard.”

Read more about our first Staff Pick of the year.

Written by Karen Glanzberg, writer-editor, content and digital experience at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre.

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