So lets say a animal could gain electricity through the same process as a electric eels. It be able to discharge itself of that stored electricity. Would that be useful on a land based animal for defense/hunting.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There are several similar questions, you might want to check them out; here's just one. worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/14861/… $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Jul 11, 2020 at 3:19
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for that but I mean not being a light but instead of would release all of it like an electric eels that's saying could a animal be a lightbulb $\endgroup$
    – V.e.g.a
    Jul 11, 2020 at 3:22

1 Answer 1


Useful? Sure!

The biggest, most obvious use of electricity is defense and attack, but a lot of species use electricity in detecting food (bees can sense if flowers have been drained of nectar, and some species can tell if something is alive or dead) or direction. Electricity helps spider webs be sticky and geckos hold on to walls. And just because your land animal goes on shore, there's no reason it can't be semi-aquatic and use it in the water. Maybe it evolved from something that picked up the trait during an aquatic phase of evolution and ran with it.

Moray eels use their electrical shocks primarily to stun opponents for long enough that the eel can kill them. Electricity that specifically interferes with a prey's heartbeat could shock it to death. All you need is for your predator to have a delivery system for a current. The fact that it's possible in one species means it's possible in others. Such an ability would be useful in attack or defense. It is a little concerning that so few species have gone this route, but it is more complex to evolve than alternatives.

A predator's mouth is moist, it could even be made to be salty. If you want to be creative, there could be conductive barbs in the skin that shock on contact/penetration. A spit stream of salt water (obtained at a local beach) allows a conductive spit, of sorts. This also helps ground a wet opponent. The most dramatic version of this I've seen here is using a biologically-generated laser to create a stream of conductive plasma through which a shock could be discharged.

Unfortunately, I doubt there is any of this that works better than neurotoxins. All these things can be done as well or better and with less handwaving. Electrical attacks might be more universal, but then again the best electrical attacks will be matched to the electrical patterns of prey.

Research other things that can be done biologically with electricity. https://www.smore.com/je58s-electricity-producing-animals#:~:text=Most%20animals%20use%20electricity%20to,Even%20to%20communicate!&text=Stargazer%20fish%20have%20special%20eye,out%20electric%20fields%2C%20not%20currents.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the help $\endgroup$
    – V.e.g.a
    Jul 11, 2020 at 3:52

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