With its fierce looking face and long
body you can see how the wolf-eel got its name. Wolf-eels are
not actually true eels, but classified in the family Anarhichadidae
with other "wolffishes".
The wolf-eel lives in the Pacific Northwest
and makes its home on rocky reefs or
stony bottom shelves at shallow and moderate depths. They will
usually stake out a territory in a crevice, den or lair in the
rocks. Their long, slender, tapering bodies allow them to squeeze
into their rocky homes. The longest recorded length wolf-eel
is 2.4 metres (8 feet)!
Wolf-eels have extremely strong, crushing
jaws with thick spike-like front teeth and flat, massive molars
in the back. This impressive mouth is great for crushing their
favourite food, hard-shelled animals such as, snails, clams,
crabs, and sea urchins.
may look menacing, but they are really quite friendly creatures.
Some lucky scuba divers can lure a wolf-eel out of their lair
with food, usually sea urchins, and these tameable fish will
gently feed from the diver's hands!
to marine biodiversity index