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Sea lamprey in Sweden
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Cephalaspidomorphi
Order: Petromyzontiformes
Family: Petromyzontidae


Lampreys are jawless fish, whose adults are characterized by a toothed, funnel-like sucking mouth. Lampreys belong to the family Petromyzonidae. They live in coastal and fresh waters, and are found in temperate regions around the world.


Lampreys are eel-like, scaleless animals. They range from about 15 to 100 centimetres (6 to 40 inches) long. They have well-developed eyes, one or two dorsal fins, a tail fin, a single nostril on top of the head, and seven gill openings on each side of the body. Like the hagfishes, they lack bones, jaws, and paired fins. The skeleton of a lamprey consists of cartilage; the mouth is a round, sucking hole with horny teeth.