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Slippery friendliness

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The moray eel is a fish that has modified its body to adapt to the demands of its environment. Residing in the coral reefs of temperate seas, the moray eel encounters a highly rugged bottom, with sharp edges and filled with small caves and countless hiding places where its prey seeks refuge.

The moray eel is the ultimate hunter of this type of seabed. Its success does not rely on speed or surprise, like most marine predators, but rather on an exquisite development of its sense of smell, slow movements, and the ability to maneuver through narrow and even sharp crevices. Its highly developed mouth with a wide bite and powerful teeth does the rest.

Its elongated body has lost its pectoral fins, which would hinder its ability to glide among the corals. Its caudal fin extends from the head to the tail, providing the necessary balance in the final moment of the attack. As part of this mutation, the moray eel has lost the typical scales of fish, replacing them with smooth skin covered by a thin layer of mucus that not only protects it but also allows it to glide silently in the stillness of the night.

As the ultimate nocturnal hunter, the moray eel ventures out in search of food after sunset. During the day, it remains motionless at the entrance of its cave, waiting for the opportunity of unsuspecting prey passing by its abode. A diver is too large to be its lunch, but if accompanied by a piece of bait, the moray eel may be willing to leave its cave and even allow itself to be touched.

Moray eels are not dangerous to humans unless provoked or hunted. In such cases, one will be amazed to see that this snake-like creature is not willing to surrender easily. Mortally wounded, it will quickly coil around the harpoon while its teeth slice through the water in search of the bold hunter. Just like the sea, moray eels offer humans what they offer in return: those who enter the waters peacefully will find peace, but if aggression is brought on their visit, it will be returned in kind.

“One cannot defend what one does not love, and one cannot love what one does not know.”