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California Moray Eel Video Stock Footage
California morays are a common sight on rocky reefs surrounding islands in southern California (notably, Catalina Island in the California Channel Islands) and other islands in the Pacific. However, at least one study has proposed that this species is non-reproductive in the most northern parts of its range due to the water temperature being too cold for gonadal development. A more recent study aged morays from Catalina Island using their otoliths (ear bones) and found that the majority of individuals examined likely arrived on Catalina Island during an El Nno Southern Oscillation (ENSO) event, supporting the hypothesis that spawning populations are found further south. During an ENSO event, the southward-flowing California Current slows down and moves offshore, allowing the northward-flowing Davidson Current to bring leptocephalus larvae to northern areas.
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