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Sea lamprey

(Petromyzon marinus)


Category: Fish



These parasitic, eel-like organisms inhabit shorelines throughout the Northern Atlantic as well as the Great Lakes. Lamprey inhabit freshwater during their larval stage and spawning stage (end) of their lifecycle, and spend several years as adults at sea. Adults feed by attaching themselves to other fish with their sucker-like mouth and rasp away their scales with their sharp tongue and teeth. Secretions from the lamprey’s mouth prevent the prey’s blood from clotting, thereby allowing the lamprey to feed on the victim’s blood and other bodily fluids.


Data & Facts

Scientific Classification
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Hyperoartia (Petromyzontida)
Order - Petromyzontiformes
Family - Petromyzontidae
Genus - Petromyzon
Species - P. marinus

Did you know?
Interesting Animal Facts

Undersea Conversations…

While it isn’t obvious, fish have ears, and are able to communicate to one another through sounds. They don’t have vocal chords, but instead vibrate their swim bladders, producing popping, grunting, moaning, barking, or chirping noises. While some species of fish, like the goldfish, are silent listeners, there are over 1000 species that are known to vocalize, and some, like the gurnard who are veritable chatterboxes. While we can’t have a conversation with them - at least not yet - it is theorized that they do it to attract mates, frighten away predators or competitors, to synchronize mating, call for help and warn others, or to orient themselves.

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