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Transcript of Sea Lamprey
The sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) is a parasitic lamprey found in the northern Atlantic Ocean along shores of Antarctica and North America, in the western Mediterranean Sea, and in the shores of the Great Lakes.
How Did They Arrive In Michigan
Sea lampreys are native to the Atlantic Ocean, not the Great Lakes. Sea lampreys entered the Great Lakes system in the 1800s through manmade locks and shipping canals. Prior to the opening of the Welland Canal in 1829, and prior to its modification in 1919, Niagara Falls served as a natural barrier to keep sea lampreys out of the upper Great Lakes
Features and Behaviors
Sea lamprey have two separated fins on their back and suction disk mouth filled with small sharp, rasping teeth and a file-like tongue. The sea lamprey is a jawless parasite that feeds on the body fluids of fish. Lamprey are eel-shaped fish with a skeleton made of cartilage, not bone. Sea lamprey are 6 to 24 inches in length with smooth, scaleless skin that is mottled grey/blue to black, darker on top and fading to a lighter colored belly and possesses a pair of functional eyes and seven gill openings
What They Eat, And How They Get They Get There Energy
Sea lampreys are parasites in their adult stage. They attack a wide range of salt- and freshwater fish, including herring, mackerel, salmon, trout and even some sharks, using its 'sucker' to attach to its host and rasp out a whole with its rough tongue. An anticoagulant in their saliva prevents the wounds from clotting. The host fish is often killed or seriously wounded. Under certain conditions, only one in every seven host fish will survive. The larval stage feeds using a mucus-secreting groove called an endostyleexternal link.
Effects On Michigan
One sea lamprey can upset an ecosystem and food chain by eating an estimated 40 pounds of fish or more in its lifetime. Multiply that times 22,000 lamprey found in just one river and you have a lot of dead fish. Because of lower large fish populations, small fish, like the alewife, were able to increase in numbers.
What Are We Doing To Control The Populatoin
Sea Lamprey control begins when biologists assess tributaries to determine which ones contain larval Sea lampreys
By: Jonathan Puscas
The information helps the commission decide where and when control should be implemented
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