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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

Hey, Fishlips!

If you’ve ever worn lipstick (or kissed anybody wearing lipstick), you’ve probably had fish scales on your lips. Of course you won’t find “herring scales from commercial fishing hauls” on the ingredients list of your cosmetics - they list it as the regal-sounding “pearl essence” or “pearlescence.” But why? Because the scales of silvery fish that capture and reflect light so beautifully in the water function the same way on your lips. So maybe next time somebody calls you “fish lips,” don’t jump to conclusions too quickly, maybe they mean it as a compliment!

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