Slender snipe eel

Animal Facts

  • Scientific Name

    Nemichthys scolopaceus

  • Animal Type


  • Diet


  • Size

    to 5 feet (1.5 m)

  • Relatives

    other snipe eels

  • Habitat

    Deep Sea

  • Range

    midwater (1,000-13,000 feet, or 300-4,000 meters)

Natural History

Snipe eels have birdlike beaks with curving tips. Their beaks are covered with tiny, hooked teeth—the eels sweep their beaks through the water to entangle the antennae of tasty shrimp.


Anything that finds its way into the ocean, whether it's tossed away as trash, washes off a beach or falls off a boat, may eventually make its way to the deep sea. It's important to realize that the deep sea is not so far away that it's beyond the reach of human activities. Living creatures in the deep are affected by what we do at the surface.

Cool Facts

A five-foot-long (1.5 meter) snipe eel weighs only a few ounces.

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