Along the murky bottom of the Amazon River, serpentine fish called electric eels scour the gloom for unwary frogs or other small prey. When one swims by, the fish unleash two 600-volt pulses of electricity to stun or kill it. This high-voltage hunting tactic is distinctive, but a handful of other fish species also use electricity: They generate and sense weaker voltages when navigating through muddy, slow-moving waters and when communicating with others of their species through gentle shocks akin to morse code.
Normally, when several species share an ability as unusual as generating electricity, it’s because they’re closely related. But the electric fish in the rivers of South America
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