Petromyz’ – Lampreys
Has an evolutionary lineage that dates back more than 360 million years
One of the most striking features of lampreys is their jawless mouth, which is adapted for suction feeding. Instead of jaws, they possess a circular, toothed mouth that allows them to attach to their prey, typically other fish, to feed on their bodily fluids. Lampreys exhibit an eel-like body shape, and some species display a fascinating anadromous life cycle, migrating between freshwater and the ocean.
Lampreys play crucial roles in freshwater and marine ecosystems. Parasitic lampreys, while often considered a nuisance in the context of fisheries, contribute to natural population control by selectively targeting weak or diseased fish. Additionally, their carcasses serve as a nutrient source for various aquatic organisms, further influencing the dynamics of food webs. Non-parasitic lampreys contribute to nutrient cycling by feeding on detritus and small invertebrates in freshwater habitats.