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Lamprey Definition

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Other Lamprey Definition

[n] primitive eellike freshwater or anadromous cyclostome having round sucking mouth with a rasping tongue

Misc. Definitions

\Lam"prey\, n.; pl. {Lampreys}. [OE. lampreie, F. lamproie, LL. lampreda, lampetra, from L. lambere to lick + petra rock, stone. The lampreys are so called because they attach themselves with their circular mouths to rocks and stones, whence they are also called {rocksuckers}. See {Lap} to drink, {Petrify}.] (Zo["o]l.) An eel-like marsipobranch of the genus {Petromyzon}, and allied genera. The lampreys have a round, sucking mouth, without jaws, but set with numerous minute teeth, and one to three larger teeth on the palate (see Illust. of {Cyclostomi}). There are seven small branchial openings on each side. [Written also {lamper eel}, {lamprel}, and {lampron}.] Note: The common or sea lamprey of America and Europe ({Petromyzon marinus}), which in spring ascends rivers to spawn, is considered excellent food by many, and is sold as a market fish in some localities. The smaller river lampreys mostly belong to the genus {Ammoc[oe]les}, or {Lampetra}, as {A. fluviatilis}, of Europe, and {A. [ae]pypterus} of America. All lampreys attach themselves to other fishes, as parasites, by means of the suckerlike mouth.

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