The Moray Eel is not really an eel, but a thick skinned leathery fish who lives in the coral reefs and rocky areas of warm water oceans. They have a lot of very sharp teeth: they even have teeth on the roofs of their mouths to trap prey more effectively! They are colored to fit in with their environment — this is called camouflage. If they look green and slimy, it is because they often have a layer of slimy mucous that helps them slide in and out of tight spaces in the rocks.
In our native RI, our ocean water might reach the temperature of 70F degrees at the height of summer, so we don’t have to worry about meeting this creature… Where you live, if you swim in warm ocean water — watch out!
Below is the fimbriated moray (photo by Jens Peterson, Creative Commons), a carnivorous eel that lives in the Indo-Pacific waters, and can reach lengths of 30 inches!
Moray Eel: many kinds!
There are many different kinds of Moray Eels, ranging from the Pygmy Moray at 8 inches — aw, cute little Moray Eel — to the giant Green Morays of TEN FEET — hey, stay away you scary guy! Actually, all kidding aside, Moray Eels are somewhat shy and might not come out unless provoked. Here’s an odd fact: because they have only a dorsal fin, they tend to roll over and sometimes find it hard to stay upright! A scuba diver might see one swimming along on its side or even upside down on its back….
Where are the warm waters of the world where the Morays might live? When working on our blank, unlabeled DAILY WORLD MAP, you might make a list of the warm water oceans — that is one way to use this multi-purpose map. List and label these warm ocean areas as part of the activities you devise. For fun — maybe also list the name of a few other ocean creatures who might inhabit these waters!
If you want to integrate animals of all kinds into your studies, see our CartoCraze! Expanded Map Workshops! Access more than 40 members-only workshop units focusing on different aspects of our amazing planet Earth.
Geared for grades 3-8, these digital workshops seamlessly integrate with our hands-on paper maps and are conveniently organized into the following four geographic areas — MOUNTAINS, RIVER, ISLANDS and RIVERS.
Moray Eel, in the Maldives
The Moray Eel is features in our file for the MALDIVES, part of these workshops, in our ISLANDS theme in the workshop categories. And this material about the MALDIVES dovetails well if you use our ASIA map.