Elusive blood-sucking fish washes ashore in Netherlands. Take a look — if you dare

What has no limbs or bottom jaw, but makes up for it with a copious amount of teeth?

Jarco Havermans found the answer lying dead on a beach in the Netherlands on the week of March 10.

Havermans, who works at the Ecomare nature museum and aquarium in the Netherlands, found “a very strange fish” along a beach in Texel, located about 65 miles north of Amsterdam, NL Times reported.

It was a sea lamprey, an ancient fish in the Atlantic that “may be America’s first destructive invasive species,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The creatures slightly resemble eels but are actually a parasitic fish that latch onto their prey — other fish — and suck their blood, according to NOAA. One sea lamprey can kill 40 pounds worth of fish in a single year.

Havermans told NH Nieuws that sea lampreys do not have a lower jaw, but do boast a mouth full of teeth.


The sea lamprey was about 83 cm long, according to Ecomare.
The sea lamprey was about 83 cm long, according to Ecomare.

Sea lampreys are not often found in the Netherlands, and date back to prehistoric times, Ecomare said in a March 9 news release. The one Havermans found was nearly 3 feet long.

While it is not common to find a sea lamprey in the Netherlands, according to Ecomare, the odd creatures are known to migrate to freshwater from the sea during spring to spawn.

While Ecomare already has a sea lamprey in its possession, it said it planned to keep the one found by Havermans for other museums.

Google Translate was used to translate the article from NH Nieuws and news release from Ecomare.

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