A Baby Moray Eel, or a Really Small Adult?

An unidentified moray eel held in researcher's hands.
(Trish Mace, Smithsonian Institution)

This is an unidentified moray eel, collected from 650 feet off the coast of Curacao. Morays are very secretive animals that tend to stay hidden in caves and crevices. Researchers with the Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) don't yet know if this is a young eel, or a small full-grown one. By analyzing this moray's DNA and comparing it to DNA from known morays in the Caribbean, they will determine if this small eel is a juvenile of a known species.