The Order Cyclostomata

Jawless fish.

The world's first vertebrates belonged to this class; the few living representatives belong to this single order.

Hagfish and Lampreys
45 species

Lampreys and hagfish are parasites and scavengers.They lack scales and jaws.

Hagfish remain buried in mud, sand or gravel during the day and emerge at night to scavenge on dead animals and organic waste, or to act as parasites on live prey. Their eyes are vistigial and sightless. They hunt by touch and smell; the tip of the snout bears fleshy, sensitive tentacles called barbels

Lampreys attach themselves by suckers to the flanks of fish, then rasp through their prey's flesh and drain it of blood. Adult lampreys die after egg-laying and fertilisation; the eggs are laid in the gravel of stream beds and, although some species return to the sea as they mature, others remain in fresh water


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