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The electric eel uses electric shocks for both hunting and self-defense.

Bioelectrogenesis is the generation of electricity by living organisms, a phenomenon that belongs to the science of electrophysiology. The nerve impulse is a bioelectric event.[1] In biological cells, the Sodium-Potassium Exchanger maintains a voltage imbalance, or cell potential difference, between the inside of the cell and its surroundings (see also ion channel). Also called a pump, the exchanger is said to be "electrogenic", because it removes three sodium ions for every two ions of potassium it allows in. The process consumes metabolic energy in the form of ATP.[2] Plant cells also exhibit light-induced electrogenesis.[3] Certain types of bacteria are able to generate electric currents; these are used in microbial fuel cells and educational kits are available for students and hobbyists.[4]

The term usually refers to the electricity-generating ability that is in some aquatic creatures, such as the electric eel and to a lesser extent the black ghost knifefish. Fish exhibiting such bioelectrogenesis often also possess electroreceptive abilities (which are more widespread) as part of an integrated electric system.[5] Electrogenesis may be utilized for electrolocation, self-defense, electrocommunication and sometimes the stunning of prey.[6]

See also


  1. Schoffeniels, E. D.; Mărgineanu, G. (1990). Molecular Basis and Thermodynamics of Bioelectrogenesis. Topics in molecular organization and engineering. 5. Springer. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-7923-0975-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Nicholls, John G.; Martin, A. Robert; Fuchs, Paul A.; Brown, David A.; Diamond, Mathew E.; Weisblat, David A. (2012). From Neuron to Brain. 5. Sinauer. p. 145. ISBN 978-0-87893-609-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Volkov, A. G. (2006). Plant electrophysiology: theory and methods. Springer. ISBN 978-3-540-32717-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. MudWatt Science Kit
  5. Bullock, T. H.; Hopkins, C. D.; Ropper, A. N.; Fay, R. R. (2005). From Electrogenesis to Electroreception: An Overview. Springer. ISBN 978-0-387-23192-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).