Boschung, Herbert T. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
- Biology and range
- Petromyzontidae (northern lampreys)
- Geotriidae (southern lampreys)
- Mordaciidae (southern topeyed lampreys)
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
An order of jawless fishes also known as the Hyperoartii or commonly as the lampreys. It is the only order of the class Petromyzontida. Characteristics of the class include the following combination of characters that describe the order: eellike body; no bones; no paired fins; one or two dorsal fins; diphycercal (isocercal) tail (that is, with symmetrical upper and lower lobes) in adults, hypocercal (that is, with a larger lower lobe) in ammocoetes (larval lampreys); no barbels; teeth on oral disc and tongue (Fig. 1); two semicircular canals; seven pairs of external lateral gill openings; well-developed eyes in adults, and rudimentary eyes in ammocoetes, usually laterally placed; single median nostril (a nasohypophyseal sac with an external opening only); spiral valve and cilia in intestinal tract; small cerebellum; separate sexes; and oviparous, with small and numerous eggs. The ammocoetes undergo radical metamorphosis, and all species spawn in freshwater. See also: Jawless vertebrates
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