Temporal range:
A European river lamprey (Lampetra fluviatilis)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Infraphylum: Agnatha
Class: Hyperoartia
Order: Petromyzontiformes
Berg, 1940[2]
Type species
Petromyzon marinus
Sea lamprey, Petromyzon marinus
Lateral cross-section of Lamprey demonstrating internal anatomy
Microscopic cross section through the pharynx of a larva from an unknown lamprey species

Lampreys /ˈlæmprz/ (sometimes inaccurately called lamprey eels) are an ancient extant lineage of jawless fish of the order Petromyzontiformes /ˌpɛtrmɪˈzɒntɪfɔːrmz/, placed in the superclass Cyclostomata. The adult lamprey may be characterized by a toothed, funnel-like sucking mouth. The common name "lamprey" is probably derived from Latin lampetra, which may mean "stone licker" (lambere "to lick" + petra "stone"), though the etymology is uncertain.[3] Lamprey is sometimes seen for the plural form.[4]

There are about 38 known extant species of lampreys and five known extinct species.[5] They are classified in three families: two species-poor families in the Southern Hemisphere and one speciose family in the Northern Hemisphere; phylogenetic studies indicate a mid-Mesozoic divergence for all three, underlying the separation of Laurasia and Gondwanaland. The occurrence of modern lampreys only since the Mesozoic (with significant genus & species radiations only in the Cenozoic) contrasts with the Paleozoic origins of the group and its basal nature.[6]

Parasitic carnivorous lampreys are the most well-known species, and feed by boring into the flesh of other fish to suck their blood;[7] but only 18 species of lampreys engage in this micropredatory lifestyle.[8][9] Of the 18 carnivorous species, nine migrate from saltwater to freshwater to breed (some of them also have freshwater populations), and nine live exclusively in freshwater. All non-carnivorous forms are freshwater species.[10] Adults of the non-carnivorous species do not feed; they live on reserves acquired as ammocoetes (larvae), which they obtain through filter feeding.

  1. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2009). "Petromyzontiformes" in FishBase. January 2009 version.
  2. ^ "Fossilworks: Petromyzontida".
  3. ^ "lamprey". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
  4. ^ "Sea Lamprey: The Ancient Fish". Connecticut River Conservancy. 10 July 2016. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  5. ^ Docker, Margaret F (2006). "Bill Beamish's Contributions to Lamprey Research and Recent Advances in the Field". Guelph Ichthyology Reviews. 7. Archived from the original on 27 August 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  6. ^ Cite error: The named reference :4 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  7. ^ Hardisty, M. W.; Potter, I. C. (1971). Hardisty, M. W.; Potter, I. C. (eds.). The Biology of Lampreys (1st ed.). Academic Press. ISBN 978-0-12-324801-5.
  8. ^ Lafferty, Kevin D; Kuris, Armand M (1 November 2002). "Trophic strategies, animal diversity and body size". Trends in Ecology & Evolution. 17 (11): 507–513. doi:10.1016/S0169-5347(02)02615-0. ISSN 0169-5347.
  9. ^ Gill, Howard S.; Renaud, Claude B.; Chapleau, François; Mayden, Richard L.; Potter, Ian C.; Douglas, M. E. (2003). "Phylogeny of Living Parasitic Lampreys (Petromyzontiformes) Based on Morphological Data". Copeia. 2003 (4): 687–703. doi:10.1643/IA02-085.1. S2CID 85969032.
  10. ^ Potter, Ian C.; Gill, Howard S.; Renaud, Claude B.; Haoucher, Dalal (25 November 2014), "The Taxonomy, Phylogeny, and Distribution of Lampreys" (PDF), Lampreys: Biology, Conservation and Control, Springer Netherlands, pp. 35–73, doi:10.1007/978-94-017-9306-3_2, ISBN 978-94-017-9305-6, archived from the original (PDF) on 3 August 2018, retrieved 21 October 2018

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