Thursday, July 10, 2014

A modern alien yet a living fossil - the lamprey

What do you call a modern alien yet known to be a living fossil? Perhaps you've named a few valid creatures I haven't thought which I could surely nod in agreement. But have you also thought of a lamprey being one?

It's the same feeling when seeing photos of this horrific yet fascinating creature. With suckers looking like monsters out of modern thrilling movies, the physical characteristics have known to be over 350 million years old with very little changes evidenced from their rare fossils.

It's not just their look which is horrifying, so is their means of survival. Adult lampreys are parasites which feed on blood from other fishes. Their spiraling teeth will give its prey a surprising kiss that sucks blood out of it. They don't feed on small ones, no! They're looking for a bigger fish to fry, or rather to latch on. 

Choosy lamprey caught a giant fish, why it's Jeremy Wade of Animal Planet. 

Lampreys are something to watch out for in spawned rivers, coastal areas, and fishing lakes in temperate regions all over the world, where 13 species are known to be found in the United States where it is considered as pests in the fishing industry, a problem occurring for fifty years. 

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