What is a Lamprey Fish?


12:37 PM

1 min read
What is a Lamprey Fish?  Blog Image


A recent study has uncovered two potential new species of lamprey fish in California waters.

About Lamprey Fish

  • Lampreys are boneless, jawless fish with eel-like bodies that date back over 350 million years.
  • They belong to a relic (primitive) group of jawless fish called Agnathans.
  • They live in coastal and fresh waters and are found in temperate regions around the world, except Africa. 
  • Features:
    • They range from about 15 to 100 centimetres (6 to 40 inches) long. 
    • Unlike "bony" fish like trout, cod, and herring, lampreys lack scales, fins, and gill covers. 
    • They breathe through a distinctive row of seven pairs of tiny gill openings located behind their mouths and eyes.
    • Like sharks, their skeletons are made of cartilage.
    • Lamprey’s jawless mouth is a circular, fleshy sucker filled with hundreds of small teeth and a rasping tongue.
    • They are migratory fish, moving between fresh and saltwater to complete their lifecycle.
    • They spend most of their lives at sea and only move into freshwater to spawn and for their juvenile life stage.
    • They attach themselves to large animals like fish and whales using their sucker mouth. They feed as parasites, rasping into the host’s flesh with their sharp teeth and sucking out blood.

Q1) What are eels?

Eels are bony fish, easily recognizable because of their snake-like appearance. They can live in both salt water and fresh water, and certain species migrate between the two, though the first and final stages of their lives take place in the sea.

Source: New species of lamprey fish documented in California