Subject: With two large electric organs on each side of its head, the Torpedo Ray (the ray in this clip is probably the Blackspotted Torpedo Ray, Torpedo fuscomaculata) can deliver an electric shock of up to 30 amperes and a voltage of 8 to 220 volts. These electricity-producing organs are made of patches of modified muscle cells called “electroplaques”. Produced power can be stored in the tissues and these act like a battery. The Torpedo Ray discharges this power in powerful pulses to stun prey and to defend itself from predators.
Technique: Filming a fleeing fish is usually never a good idea. However, knowing that any Torpedo Ray will prefer to hide under the substrate rather than fleeing it was a good opportunity to follow the ray for a few meters before it settled itself in the loose sandy bottom. The burying process, a spectacular disappearing trick, was what I was hoping to catch on film.