People who pay attention to the behaviour of the European eels , recognise especially one thing: Two times in their life they cross the Atlantic ocean between Europe and the Sargasso Sea, although they are exposed to many enemies and the dangers involved mean a real endangering for the preservation of the species. Another phenomenon occupying especially scientists is that only female eels have been found in European rivers.
A trip through the life of European eels
The European eels are born in the Sargasso Sea which is a large area of water lying to the south and to the west of the Azores. In its middle seafloor we can find a lot of seaweed growing together which is the spawning ground and which has a protecting function when the older eels mate for example. American eels spawn in the west part and European eels in the eastern part of the Sargasso Sea. When the young animals hatch they swim to the edge of the eddy, the Gulf Stream takes them and they drift to West Europe. This trip takes three years.
When the eels, which in the mean time have developed, arrive in front of the European coast, a segregation of the sexes happen: The male eels stay in the salt water, the female one however swim into the rivers. A reason for that is that they are only able to become sexually mature in fresh water, so this in an explanation for the phenomenon that we can find only female eels in our rivers. Besides they are much more protected from enemies than in the ocean. After two years, that means when eels are five years old, the male and the female meet again at the mouth of the rivers and swim back to the Sargasso Sea where they mate in the seaweed. This trip takes only 140 days in comparison to the first one. After that, the old eels die there and the young eels hatch. So a new cycle begins.
How did the attachment to fresh water develop and where did it have its origins? First we have to imagine the situation in the West Atlantic before Atlantis' fall if we want to get an answer to this question. In this connection we base the answer on the theory that the Azores were once Atlantis.
The Gulf Stream flowed around the area of the Sargasso Sea. This was caused by its diversion Atlantis. To the east the Gulf Stream had the island Atlantis with many rivers and to the west there was the land mass of America with big rivers, too. The Sargassosea and the Gulf Stream were the habitats of the eels so a possibility of changing between salt- and fresh water was given.
With circumstances of life like this, it often happens that living beings specialise in the same way, adapting to their natural environment. This had also happened to the female eels: Because of the Gulf Stream, the young animals drifted to different mouths of rivers where there were no enemies like the oceanic predatory fishes or some sea birds. So their development was not as much imperilled as in the ocean and the urge for fresh water development.
With the moment of Atlantis fall the shape of the Gulf Stream also changed. Because eels are instinct creatures they are not able to learn and to stop this cycle, although it means death for a lot of them.
For information on land and climate evidence, click here.
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