Electric Catfish

Cat fish
Source: planetcatfish.com

Electric catfish, Malapterurus electricus, called Eja Ojiji in Yoruba, is a species of catfish having an electric organ derived from the pectoral muscle and which surround almost the entire body. This organ is capable of discharging 300-400 V, used both for prey capture and defense. Generally found among rocks or roots in turbid and/or black waters with low visibility; they favor sluggish or standing water. The range of this widely distributed fish species reaches the smaller southward flowing basins in West Africa Electric catfish are nocturnal and spend most of the day hiding under shelter.

Doctors in ancient Egypt used shocks from the Electric Catfish to reduce the pain of arthritis. Similarly, this fish is used among the Yoruba traditionalists to treat stroke, a disease linked to the former.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer