Sea lamprey

  • This ‘vampire fish’, as it is called due to its nature to extract the blood of its prey, was discovered on the Dutch island of Texel.
  • They belong to the oldest group of vertebrates, the Agnatha, which existed more than 400 million years ago before there were fish with jaws.
  • According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a US government agency, sea lamprey is a parasitic fish native to the northern and western Atlantic Ocean. It is often confused with eels.
  • Unlike other fish, lampreys lack scales, fins, and gill covers and their skeletons are made of cartilage.
  • The lampreys attack fish to suck the blood out using their sucker-shaped mouth.
  • NOAA said the fish uses its rough tongue to rasp away other fish’s flesh so it can feed on its host’s blood and body fluids.
  • It further said that one sea lamprey kills about 40 pounds of fish every year.
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