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Fun Fact: Garden Eels

Garden Eels

by Marianne Walthier

On a recent visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, I had the opportunity to meet the spotted garden eel. This unusual creature looks like a living exotic plant. They live in clusters and burrow into the sand at the bottom of the ocean to make their homes. Each eel lives in a single burrow and rarely leaves. They extend about one-third of their bodies out into the ocean in order to catch tiny animals floating by in the current. They escape predators by retreating all of the way into their burrow. Garden eels live in the warmer parts of the Indo-Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and also the Red Sea.

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