American eel
There are three species of eel, the American eel (Anguilla rostrata), European eel (A. anguilla), and Japanese eel (A. japonica), but the American eel is the only species of freshwater eels in the Western Hemisphere.

The American eel undergoes many biological changes—known as metamorphoses—throughout its complex life history. They begin their lives as eggs hatching in the Sargasso Sea, two million square miles of warm water in the North Atlantic between the West Indies and the Azores.

The eggs hatch into larvae that drift with the Gulf Stream and take years to reach their U.S. freshwater streams and estuarine habitats. In these habitats, the eels mature, changing color over time, and then finally return to their Sargasso Sea birth waters to spawn and die.

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