An Electric Eel and a Caiman

An Electric Eel and a Caiman


:introduction jingle: :sloshing water and bird sounds as gentle orchestra music plays in the background: So, we’re out here with Maria and Isabel. And, they’re Icthyologists, and we’re going to go fishing. They have this net. Where they sweep the net through the deeper parts of the water. And, try to get the fish to either be pinned against the bank or into the net. And, then they pull it up. And, see what’s in this area. We’re going to go do that. So, are you ever afraid you’re scaring the fish off by walking up the stream and they’re probably getting out of the way? Or is that something that? Well let us know if we need to be quiet. Oh! Okay. They can hide out. Yea, camouflage. Webs, all over the place. So, Maria’s coming down from upstream trying to scare all the fish into this little net over here. Wow! Wow, that’s a huge eel! :laughing amongst the group: We caught the eel. We found the white whale. I feel like Ishmael a little bit. Actually, I didn’t do anything. I just stood here while they shuttled it into the net. But, it’s an amazing creature. And, it’s so fascinating that you can have these massive, like 4.5 feet to 5 feet. Ya know, meter and a half long eels living in an area like this. Because the water gets so low that at times they have to kind of wiggle their way across the land to try and find different pools to live in. So, it’s pretty amazing that they can make a living down here, and grow so large. Nice. So, on tonight’s adventures at the dinner table. We were all sitting around chatting when Pablo, one of our Herpetologists walked up holding this guy! Which is a “Pygmy Dwarf Caiman” that he found a little upstream from our bathing area. And, kind of in his nature he went and grabbed it, and brought it to show to us. Pablo: It’s also called a “Smooth-Front Caiman” So, I think it’s one species out of a couple that live here in the Amazon. One of them is endangered. It’s hunted for its skin. I think this one is a little more common. And, adults can be around a meter and a half long. So, probably 5.5 feet. And, he’s not too happy right now. So we’re just going to get some footage of it. And, then let him go. Maybe further away from the bathing area. Don’t really want that. Got an ant in my eye. Oh, oh…can somebody help? Whoops, can you get him? I have an ant in my glasses. Alvaro looks way more badass holding that thing than I do. Buenas Noches!(Good Night) :ending jingle:

100 thoughts on “An Electric Eel and a Caiman

  1. Maybe the asterisk should be pointing me to somewhere I'm not look or maybe I have just misinterpreted what I have read, but the SI units Volts measures voltage or electric potential. This in fact is not charge, which is measured in the SI units Coulombs. I could be wrong I'm not very fluent in the bio-organic-electric field of study but if this is wrong I thought it'd be worth pointing out.

  2. Somewhere on Youtube is a video of a fisherman bringing in an electric eel, when a caiman attacks the eel.  It did not go well for either participant.  I'm amazed that the women in this video could be so near the eel in the water without being shocked.

  3. I do my graduate fieldwork in the Amazon. I ate the only caiman I saw. I hope it wasn't one of the endangered ones >.<

  4. Inspiring as always. I love these glimpses into the hidden corners of our planet, and the techniques used to unravel the mysteries within!

  5. It was great to meet you at Smith College on Monday. You are so nice and approachable. And the talk was fascinating!! Thanks for being awesome. 🙂

  6. I'm so happy and grateful to see that brave people such as you, Emily and Tom, are able to go to all these wild places, and make informative videos about the species you encounter there. So thank you for taking the trouble to go to these places and help the world learn more!

  7. I used to own an electric catfish.  He was totally cool until someone bothered him, and then you'd see the most aggressive fish in the tank floating upside down with the current…  Zapped me often when cleaning the tank, but like a warning zap usually??  Warning feels like waves of zaps, all minor, no biggie.  But then if you do something stupid like poke him (sometimes you gotta move then so you can siphon the crap out of the gravel) and they will get you good.  My little guy was small, so it was not painful or debilitating ti me, but you did feel it.  Amazing critters.  Got mine when I worked in a pet shop and some guy didn't want it.  Lived with me for like 5 years, and I think he had him for the same.

  8. The camera footage is so gorgeous, the angles, the focus and the clarity. My mouth dropped when I saw the definition in the caiman's eye.

  9. Can we have a little less of the ~filmmaking~ and more Emily and more of the actual things happening? Please?

    The length and pace of these videos are making them hard to watch. What contributed to the initial success of this channel was the employment of Youtube sensibilities in combination with the filmmaking when it came to the editing, which helped reach the audience here. A lot of the early videos were put together in such a way that they featured Emily talking seemingly non-stop. The early videos were also more like documentaries than short films. I felt more connected to and more invested in what was happening because all of it felt more real to me. Both of these aspects helped me feel engaged as a viewer, and I would love it if this channel could go back to that. 

    If the Field Museum wants more professional videos, fine. If the goal is to reach people and to convey the wonders of nature and science, this filmmaking style isn't helping to grow the viewership.

  10. I'd like to ask – what was the biggest technical difficulty in being in places like this? I mean for cameras/lapel mics etc.?

  11. The Carnival of Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns sounds so good with this video, and just so happens to be thematically resonant. The people working on this show continue to prove how clever they are!

  12. Just curious. Why didn't the eel try to electric-shock the catchers once it was in the net? (not that I want Emily to be shocked). It seems the catchers already knew they were safe as they were trying to capture the eel with the net.

  13. This is you're best video I've seen by you guys. Perfect usage of a great rendition of Offenbach's can-can song really does the video right. Also does baby caimen's are the kittens of lizards

  14. Hey @thebrainscoop do you guys ever catch/pick up/harvest/forage for food when your guys are out in the field?

  15. I really enjoy these videos! How many more Amazonian adventures remain? I'm going to Ecuador for the first time this summer, in order to do field work. I consider these videos to be preparation 😉

  16. I saw an episode of River Monsters with the electric eel. Those things will kill you. I would not be in that water!

  17. What is it with your camerawork? Is it the depth of field or lighting that makes your clips from the Amazon look so unreal? Almost like an old museum diorama…

  18. Hey! just wondering with the electric eel were you taking any measurements? What were they doing a study on?

  19. I totally missed this until now – you guys promised me an electric eel and I gots it! Thank you 🙂 A gorgeous fish – what's their population density like? Like, would you only find a single specimen one body of water?

    Also, what was the tetra picked up at the beginning?

    (Oh to travel to the Amazon!)

  20. I feel like Pablo is always picking up shit that's not supposed to be picked up and he's so casual about it
    I love it

  21. What the heck! I would probably never be able to leave this place anymore, once I could get myself into the area <3

  22. That Saint-Saëns music tho…

    If there isn't a video in the museum involving bones that's set to Danse macabre, I will be disappoint.

    (in all seriousness, super cool video!)

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