A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife
The California Moray Eel is a member of the family Muraenidae, and mainly feeds on small reef fish, cephalopods, crustaceans, and even sea urchins. My favorite aspect of the morays is their unique pharyngeal jaw, adapted for highly efficient hunting. Mucus protects the eel's skin from rough surface scratches. Morays live for about 30 years, and their eggs hatched into larvae may not settle on the seabed for more than a year and taking up their beautiful adult form. Pollution is the primary threat to the species, however they're faring pretty well.
Eastern Pacific Ocean, in reefs and pilings.
Saw him (her?) at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.