Amourobius ferox

Amourobius ferox
By Peter Byles

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Prehistoric mini finny vampire monster

I suppose, in a way, a cute little face...



But underneath quite not so qute, a huge circular sucker full of teeth


 
This is a juvenile, they can grow to be almost two feet long.
photo's Cliff Benson  

I got a phone call from Fisherman Paul Welsh saying he was coming into Lower Town Harbour (Fishguard) with " one of those lamprey things" I was in the car like a shot and waiting on the quay when he arrived!
I have to say I was expecting something rather larger , adult Sea Lampreys Petromyzon marinus can be a lot bigger , almost 2ft - 55cm long. They are primitive early forms of fish and anadromous or in plain English breed in fresh water but spend most of their adult lives in the sea like salmon. I say mini vampire monster because their eating habits are truly gruesome. They attach to some unfortunate fish with their toothy sucker mouth, inject an enzyme that prevents that prevents the flesh from healing and then slowly rasp away sucking the fish dry of its bodily fluids. After taking photo's we put the lamprey back in the sea and it slowly swam out of sight to find itself a new victim!

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