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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Atlantic Torpedo Torpedo nobiliana

Electric rays use special organs to produce electricity, which they discharge to stun their prey or attack predators. The Atlantic torpedo is the largest electric ray and can produce a shock of up to 220 volts—enough to stun a person. It can easily be recognized by its circular, disklike body and short, thick tail ending in a large, paddle-shaped fin. The Atlantic torpedo is a uniform dark brown or black on the back and white underneath. The electric organs are in the ray’s wings, or pectoral fins, and like a battery, they can store electricity. When hunting, the Atlantic torpedo wraps its wings around its prey before stunning it.

Atlantic Torpedozoom image
  • Order Rajiformes
  • Length Nearly 6 ft (2 m) including tail
  • Weight Up to 200 lb (90 kg)
  • Depth To 2,600 ft (800 m)
  • Distribution Atlantic, Mediterranean
Atlantic Torpedo habitat mapzoom image