Morphological abnormalities among lampreys



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The experimental control of the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) in the Great Lakes has required the collection of thousands of lampreys. Representatives of each life stage of the four species of the Lake Superior basin were examined for structural abnormalities. The most common aberration was the presence of additional tails. The accessory tails were always postanal and smaller than the normal tail. The point of origin varied; the extra tails occurred on dorsal, ventral, or lateral surfaces. Some of the extra tails were misshaped and curled, but others were normal in shape and pigment pattern. Other abnormalities in larval sea lampreys were malformed or twisted tails and bodies. The cause of the structural abnormalities is unknown. The presence of extra caudal fins could be genetically controlled, or be due to partial amputation or injury followed by abnormal regeneration. Few if any lampreys with structural abnormalities live to sexual maturity.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Morphological abnormalities among lampreys
Series title Copeia
Volume 1967
Issue 3
Year Published 1967
Language English
Contributing office(s) Great Lakes Science Center
Description p. 680-681
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Copeia
First page 680
Last page 681
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