Puget Sound Neighbors

Meet the Pacific Electric Ray
(Torpedo californica)

It may be shocking to learn but Puget Sound is home to the Pacific electric ray. Though not very common in the Sound, the largest Pacific electric rays, which incidentally are the females, can be almost five feet long. Each side of its head sports a kidney-shaped electric organ capable of producing a powerful electric current which can be used to stun prey or deter predators. The organs are really specialized muscles that generate and store electric potential that can provide a strong electric shock to any person or animal making contact with the fish at two points. Somehow the newborn Pacific electric rays, which are born living, avoid the shock! Unlike skates, which swim by undulating their pectoral fins, electric rays swim by moving their tails. These rays swim swiftly enough to feed on fishes, especially herrings and flatfishes.

Drawing from:
J. L. Hart
Pacific Fishes of Canada

Information from:
Kaza Ansley
West Sound Academy