Odd News

Scientists find spawning site for terrifying-looking fish, but are happy about it

Odd News

Lampreys…are…horrifying. Some examples.

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(AP Photo/John Flesher)

Stop.

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(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

I said stop.

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(AP Photo/Leo J. Shaw)

Blech. Lampreys, the…charming…creatures above are, according to the United Nations’ Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, “…an evolutionary ancient group of jawless vertebrates,” that have become endangered due to, “human disturbances.” Basically, we’re responsible for killing off these nightmarish creatures, but that’s a bad thing. Why? Because they “play an important ecological role in their habitats,” and, “They are a food source for numerous species and the parasitic species can affect thedistribution and abundance of some commercially important fishes.” It’s for those reasons that New Zealand’s 3 News is reporting that scientists are thrilled to have found the southern hemisphere’s first known spawning site for the fish. They’re fish, by the way. Not eels.

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Cindy Baker and Don Jellyman of NIWA (3 News)

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(3 News)

Hmmph. The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research discovered the lampreys’ spawning site on Canterbury’s Banks Peninsula, a peninsula on the South Island of New Zealand. Scientist Don Jellyman told 3 News that lampreys are hard to come by, “They're secretive, they come into fresh water and they spend a year or more just hiding out finding a spawning area. We just don't see them, so people don't know they're there."

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(3 News)

They’re cuter when they’re still just eggs. Anyways, this has renewed hope for revitalizing the species. And again, that’s a good thing.

More info: 3 News, UN FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department (pdf)

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