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Fish ID? Stargazer?

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Unlike the electric eel, the stargazer's charge is not strong enough to kill its favorite foods--small fish, crabs, and other crustaceans. Rather, its charge stuns and confuses its prey, rendering it helpless.


Is the stargazer dangerous to humans?

It is not harmful to us, but it can produce a small shock, which is more surprising than dangerous to the angler.

How does the fish make electricity?

The electricity comes from a group of muscles near the eye that forms a Y-shape on the top of the fish's head. The muscles produce and store a charge, acting like an electric capacitor, holding and releasing the charge as needed to stun prey. The stargazer that lives in our region--the northern stargazer--is one of at least 50 species in eight genera worldwide. One genus contains members that can produce an electrical charge.

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