Lamprey Species

1 min read
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Recently, Chinese palaeontologists have discovered two new species of lamprey from fossils considered 160 million years old.

About Lamprey Species

  • These are primitive fishlike jawless vertebrates placed with hagfishes in the class Agnatha.
  • They belong to the family Petromyzonidae.
  • Habitat: They live in coastal and fresh waters and are found in temperate regions around the world, except Africa.
  • Appearance:
    • The eel-like, scaleless animals range from about 15 to 100 centimetres (6 to 40 inches) long.
    • They have well-developed eyes, one or two dorsal fins, a tail fin, a single nostril on top of the head, and seven gill openings on each side of the body.
    • They lack bones, jaws, and paired fins.
    • The skeleton of a lamprey consists of cartilage; the mouth is a round sucking aperture provided with horny teeth.
  • Not all lampreys spend time in the sea. Some are landlocked and remain in fresh water. Example : Sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus).
  • Other lampreys, such as the brook lamprey (Lampetra planeri), also spend their entire lives in fresh water.
  • They are nonparasitic, however, and do not feed after becoming adults; instead, they reproduce and die.

Q1) What are Vertebrates?

These are a group of animals characterized by the presence of a vertebral column or backbone, which is a bony or cartilaginous structure that encases and protects the spinal cord. Vertebrates make up one of the major subphyla of the phylum Chordata, and they are distinguished from invertebrates, which lack a backbone.

Source: Flesh-eater’ lamprey species discovered in China from 160 million-year-old fossil