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Submitted by jmalloldiaz on Fri, 12/07/2018 - 08:50

Sea lampreys are anadromous. From their lake or sea habitats, they migrate up rivers to spawn (followed by
the death of the spawning adults); females deposit a large number of eggs in nests made by males in the
substrate of streams with moderately strong current. Larvae (ammocoete larvae) burrow in sand and silt
bottom in quiet water downstream from spawning areas and filter-feed on plankton and detritus.
After 7 years in freshwater habitats, the ammoecoete larvae undergo a metamorphosis that allows young
post metamorphic lampreys to migrate to the sea or lakes and start feeding on blood.
The lamprey uses its suction cup-like mouth to attach itself to the skin of a fish and rasps away tissue with
its sharp, probing tongue and keratinized teeth. After one year of hematophagous feeding, lampreys return
to the river to spawn and die, a year and a half after the completion of metamorphosis.