A few weeks ago there was an article that was going around the internet named “Animals You Didn’t Know Existed” .
Once it was posted we noticed that there were many conflicts about an animal named “Lamprey”. Many people commented that this “thing” doesn’t really exists.
We did a small research using Google search engine and we found some “evidence” we thought to share with you
The sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) is a parasitic lamprey found on the Northern Atlantic Ocean of Europe and North America, in the western Mediterranean Sea, and in the Great Lakes. It is brown, gray, or black on its back and white or gray on the underside and can grow up to 90 cm (35.5 in) long. After several years in freshwater habitats, the larvae undergo a metamorphosis that allows young postmetamorphic lampreys to migrate to the sea or lakes and start the hematophagous feeding. Some individuals can start the hematophagous feeding in the river before migrating to the sea, where sea lampreys prey on a wide variety of fish. 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. Secretions in the lamprey’s mouth prevent the victim’s blood from clotting. Victims typically die from excessive blood loss or infection. After 1 year of hematophagous feeding, lampreys return to the river to spawn and die, one year and a half after the completion of metamorphosis.
(source : wikipedia)
Sea lampreys are considered a pest in the Great Lakes region. The species is native to the inland Finger Lakes and Lake Champlain in New York and Vermont. It is not clear whether it is native to Lake Ontario, where it was first noticed in the 1830s, or whether it was introduced through the Erie Canal which opened in 1825. Improvements to the Welland Canal in 1919 are thought to have allowed its spread from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie, and while it was never abundant in either lake, it soon spread to Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and Lake Superior, where it decimated indigenous fish populations in the 1930s and 1940s. They have created a problem with their aggressive parasitism on key predator species and game fish, such as lake trout, lake whitefish, chub, and lake herring. Elimination of these predators allowed the alewife, another invasive species, to explode in population, having adverse effects on many native fish species. The lake trout plays a vital role in the Lake Superior ecosystem. The lake trout is considered an apex predator, which means that they have no predators of their own. The sea lamprey is an aggressive predator by nature, which gives it a competitive advantage in a lake system where it has no predators and its prey lacks defenses against it. The sea lamprey played a large role in the destruction of the Lake Superior lake trout population. Lamprey introduction along with poor, unsustainable fishing practices caused the lake trout populations to decline drastically. The relationship between predators and prey in the Great Lakes’ ecosystem then became unbalanced.
(images source: Google)