Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How Long is a Lamprey and What Fish Does It Live On?

Adult sea lamprey range from 14 to 24 inches in length. Sea lamprey uses its suction disk mouth which is filled with small sharp, rasping teeth and a file-like tongue to attach to fish, puncture the skin, and drain the fish's body fluids. An anticoagulant in their saliva ensures that the blood of the host fish does not clot while the sea lamprey feed.

Often the host fish die from loss of blood, or infections resulting from stress. Fish that survive sea lamprey attacks will have decreased reproduction. Sea lamprey in prefer landlocked salmon, lake trout and other trout species, due to their small scales and thin skin.

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