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128. Moray Eels' smell


Moray Eels, like this Undulated Moray Eel (Gymnothorax undulatus), have a very poor eyesight. However, what they lack visually they make up with their excellent sense of smell.

Their olfactory system is superior to that of most fish species. With their elongated nostrils they can smell sick, wounded and dead reef denizens, which makes them essential to keep the reef healthy and balanced.


Under normal conditions it is absolutely safe to get close, even very close to a Moray Eel in order to film it. Although they can look scary with their big mouths that are constantly opening and closing (it is just their way of breathing) they will not bite you. Even so, it is always wise to keep your fingers on your camera and away from their mouths.

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