bioelectrogenisis

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How do fish produce electricity?

the science of bioelectrogenisis and electrocytes

As many people may know a wide variation of fish like rays, Knifefish (the electric eel is a knifefish) and some catfish are known to produce electricity, however most other animals cannot do this. How are fish able to accomplish this biological marvel? Fish generate and use electricity through a process called bioelectrogenisis, bioelectrogenisis is done through a special type of cell called an electrocyte, electrocytes ironically look like a stack of flat watch batteries stacked on top of each other. An animal can have several thousand of these cells stacked in their bodies, with a single cell producing .15V. These cells function by pumping positive potassium and sodium ions out of the cell via ATP powered proteins. The cell functions like a marx generator as the elements are charged in a parallel circuit, where they are suddenly and simultaneously discharged in a series circuit to produce a pulse. When the animal wishes to fire its electric organ the animal uses a pacemaker nucleus, which is a group of nerve cells that regulate the amount of impulses the electrocytes make, When ready the pacemaker fires and acetylcholine is released from the neurons in the nucleus to the electrocytes causing the electric organ to discharge and produce an high voltage pulse.

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