Slender snipe eel

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Slender snipe eel
Nemichthys scolopaceus SI.jpg
Nemichthys scolopaceus X-ray.jpg
Nemichthys scolopaceus, X-ray image
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Anguilliformes
Family: Nemichthyidae
Genus: Nemichthys
N. scolopaceus
Binomial name
Nemichthys scolopaceus

The slender snipe eel (Nemichthys scolopaceus), also known as the deep sea duck, is a fish that can weigh only a few ounces, yet reach 5 feet or 1.5 m in length. Features include a bird-like beak with curving tips, covered with tiny hooked teeth, which they use to sweep through the water to catch shrimp and other crustaceans. It has a lifespan of ten years.

It has more vertebrae in its backbone than any other animal, around 750. However, its anus has moved forward during its evolution and is now located on its throat. Its larvae are shaped like leaves, which actually get smaller before transforming into adults.

Many specimens found in museums were spat up from larger fish that were caught in trawls. This organism is found 2,000 meters in the North Atlantic and they have more than 700 vertebrae which are normally over than other animals. The reproduction of these organisms is done by spawning which is when females lay the eggs and the males lay their sperm into the water column at the same time. The slender snipe eel only spawns once in their lifetime since they die after spawning. It is difficult for scientists to research these organisms since the extreme environment they inhabit as well as the conservation status of the slender snipe eel is not well known.


  1. ^ Karmovskaya, E., Papaconstantinou, C., de Morais, L., Smith-Vaniz, W.F., Carpenter, K.E. & de Bruyne, G. (2015). Nemichthys scolopaceus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T190214A60794470.en

Feagans-Bartow, J. (2014). Ecology of the oceanic rim: pelagic eels as key ecosystem components. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 502, 257–266.

External links[edit]

  • "Nemichthys scolopaceus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 30 January 2006.
  • Froese, Rainer; Pauly, Daniel (eds.) (2005). "Nemichthys scolopaceus" in FishBase. 10 2005 version.
  • Monterey Bay aquarium about Slender snipe eel
  • Tim Flannery and Peter Schouten, Astonishing Animals: Extraordinary Creatures and the Fantastic Worlds They Inhabit. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2004. Page 181.