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European Eel

Anguilla anguilla

The European Eel (Anguilla anguilla) is a species of freshwater eel that can be found in Europe and North Africa. They have a snake-like body with a cylindrical shape, and can grow up to 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) in length and weigh up to 4 kg (8.8 lbs). The color of their skin can vary from yellowish to greenish brown and they have a small dorsal fin located near the tail.

European Eels can be found in rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. They live in freshwater for most of their lives, but migrate to saltwater to spawn. They are known to travel long distances upstream in rivers to reach their spawning grounds.


European Eels are opportunistic predators and will eat a variety of prey. They feed on fish, crustaceans, mollusks, worms and aquatic insects.

European Eels are nocturnal creatures and are most active at night. They spend most of the day hiding in rocks, crevices or burrows. They are solitary animals, and adult eels will only come together for breeding.


European Eel is a species in the genus Anguilla and belongs to the family Anguillidae. They are considered a critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Conservation Status: 
European Eel populations have declined significantly in recent years due to overfishing, habitat loss, and barriers to migration. It is listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and is protected under the EU Habitats Directive. Conservation efforts are underway to protect and restore their populations.

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European Eel Photo 2
"European eel" by Belarusian Backwoods is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

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