Ele­phant­nose fish scan the riverbed us­ing elec­tric cur­rents

World of Animals - - Shock Horror! -

“Its chin is used a bit like a metal de­tec­tor, swept over the riverbed”

That’s not a trunk hang­ing from the ele­phant­nose fish’s face. De­spite the con­fus­ing name, the fa­cial ap­pendage is ac­tu­ally an elon­gated chin known as a Sch­nauzenor­gan. It’s used a bit like a metal de­tec­tor, swept back and forth over the muddy African riverbed un­til a tasty morsel is found.

This or­gan works by emit­ting an elec­tri­cal field, which is mod­i­fied when an ob­ject en­ters it. The clever fish can de­ter­mine whether items it de­tects are alive or dead, en­abling it to lo­cate live prey.

This ter­ri­to­rial fish is noc­tur­nal and can grow to a max­i­mum length of 22.5cm (8.9in)

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