How do Wolf Eels “wolf” down a meal?!


Wolf Eels feeding

How do Wolf Eels “wolf” down a meal?!

Wolf Eels are known to hide in the caves and crevices of rocky reefs, it’s the perfect spot to watch out for prey! They’ll stick their heads out to watch for a potential meal — like snails, mussels, crabs, and even squid — to swim or crawl by! Their strong jaws and large molars help crunch and crush the shells and exoskeletons of their prey.

Where do they live?

Wolf Eels are found in the colder waters of the Pacific and their range extends from Alaska to southern California!

Adult Wolf Eels make their homes in caves or crevices of rocky reefs habitats! Their long, thin bodies paired with a thick, protective layer of slime on their skin allow them to thrive in these enclosed spaces! Wolf Eels can get upwards of about 8 feet long! Meanwhile, juvenile Wolf Eels spend their early life in the open water. They’re also bright orange at a young age, however, this color fades into a light gray as they mature. 

Did you know that Wolf Eels are not actually eels?!

These fish have pectoral fins behind their heads, unlike marine eels like morays, therefore they are not true eels! However, they do swim similar to an eel. Wolf Eels cut through the water by moving their body and muscular tail back and forth in an s-shape pattern — kind of like how a snake slithers. 

Make sure to check out this fish on your next visit to the aquarium! You can find Wolf Eels hanging out with the Sunflower Sea Stars in the Northwest Coast habitat in Hall of Fishes.