No one can figure out how eels have sex - Lucy Cooke
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So what makes these animals so interesting? We have no idea how reproduction specifically occurs in the eel. There are a couple of facts that we do know about eel reproduction. When ready to reproduce, eels travel to saltwater. We also know that the eel’s life cycle comprises five unique stages. Fertile eggs develop into leptocephali, a young larvae. The larvae, using currents to travel back to the coast of Europe, eventually become a glass eel. This phase can take a couple of years. Eventually, they enter the third phase becoming elvers. The longest stage of an eel’s life can last anywhere from five to 20 years. This is the yellow eel stage. The final stage is the silver eel stage, in which the eel makes its journey back to the Sargasso sea to spawn and die. It is in this final stage that reproduction is believed to occur.
There have been many ancient theories attempting to solve the mystery of where eels come from, but we still don’t know the answer. It was even believed that eels were born from sand, a debunked myth that Lucy Cooke explores in her book The Truth About Animals. What is more perplexing is no one has ever seen an eel spawning or an adult eel in the Sargasso Sea. We have found the youngest, and smallest, eels there which leads us to believe that the Sargasso Sea is their birthplace!
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