The animal on the cover of RESTful .NET is an electric catfish (Siluriformes malapteruridae).
Located mainly in tropical Africa and the Nile River, the generally nocturnal
catfish can produce an electric shock of up to 350 volts, which it uses to stun or kill its
enemies (the shock is not fatal to humans).
Often seen in large display tanks at aquariums, the electric catfish has thick lips and a
cylinder-shaped, pinkish-brown body with several dark spots. The fish’s electric
organ—used to generate shocks—extends the length of its body, and, when lit, helps
the fish see through its murky surroundings.
In the normal course of its waking hours, the fish acts aggressively against other fish
and even against others of its own kind. Each successive shock its electric organ produces,
however, weakens the fish, which then must rest in order to “recharge” its electricity,
thus rendering it temporarily vulnerable to predators. The fish is also vulnerable
for another reason: its body has no scales or bony plates, making the fish relatively
defenseless against hot aquarium tanks or sharp rocks.