Lampreys may look like eels, but they lack a true backbone – although they do have a gelatinous rod of tissue running down their backs. They can grow to 50–60 centimetres in length. After spending time at sea, lampreys return to fresh water. There, they do not eat again, spending some 15 months hiding in river margins before breeding and dying.
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Department of Conservation
Photograph by Stephen Moore
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