Shore Buddies Wisdom Wednesday 06/23/2021
Photo by @joeshenouda
Garden Eels live in colonies of up to 700 individuals and burrow in the sand of the ocean floor, using mucus from their bodies to prevent the sand around them from collapsing. These eels tend to stay in their individual burrows, rarely leaving to catch their prey, zooplankton, that floats by them. To catch prey, they extend roughly one third of their bodies into the open ocean. Because they feed on zooplankton floating with the current, Garden Eel colonies inhabit depths of 23 to 164 feet in areas that have strong currents. Garden Eels inhabit the warm waters of the Indo-Pacific and Atlantic Oceans as well as the Red Sea. These creatures can reach up to 2 feet in length and have a diameter of about half an inch. As juveniles, Garden Eels are entirely black. However, as they mature, they develop a white-ish colored body that is covered in black dots.