The Moray eel, with his writhing mass, dagger-like teeth, lightning-quick movements and fearsome reputation, could be crowned King of the Coral Reef.
There are over 200 species of Moray eel, each with a unique camouflage that perfectly suits their warm, coastal realm. Their smooth skin is coated in a thick mucus that can change the eel’s color – Green Morays, for example, might appear slimy and yellow, but they’re actually blue in hue.
Moray eel’s have powerful, finless bodies with 100 flexible vertebrae, giving them the ability to tunnel into tiny crevices and gracefully swim in a characteristic s-shape through the sea’s shallow waters.
The Moray eel’s bite can do serious harm to an unlucky human victim. Rows of sharp teeth can inflect quite the wound – they have not just one but two sets of jaws. Even if wounds aren’t severe, infection can pose a serious health risk.
In some areas around the world, divers feed Morays to photograph and observe the species up close in the wild. But beware – this species has poor eyesight, and they might mistake fingers for fish, so its best to avoid interacting with these magnificent sea monsters.
Join wildlife journalists and photographers as they explore the underworld off the islands of Ko Phi Phi in search of Moray eels in Morays: The Alien Eels, Tuesday, November 4th at 7pm et on Nat Geo WILD!