Story: Marine animals without backbones

Lamprey (1st of 2)

Lamprey

Adult lampreys are slimy bloodsuckers. Their mouth is a fearsome implement full of rasping teeth. They attach themselves to the bodies of large fish or marine mammals and rasp at the flesh, extracting blood and other body fluids. Their early life is quite different – for the first four years they live as blind filter-feeders in fresh water.

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Photograph by Peter Batson

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How to cite this page:

Dennis Gordon and Maggy Wassilieff, 'Marine animals without backbones - Lancelets, lampreys and hagfish', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/5873/lamprey (accessed 22 November 2019)

Story by Dennis Gordon and Maggy Wassilieff, published 12 Jun 2006