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family of vertebrates

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

Sea lamprey in Sweden
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Cyclostomata
Order: Petromyzantiformes
Families and unplaced genera


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 hagfish, 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.