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Blood-Sucking Arctic Lampreys Are 'Raining From Sky' In Alaska

Residents in Fairbanks, Alaska, have reported seeing blood-sucking Arctic lampreys up to 1 foot long falling from the sky, earlier this month.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has received a number of calls from residents about the toothed fish, which look more like eels or snakes, dropping from above to strange places, CBS News reports.

"The local Value Village store found a live lamprey in their parking lot," ADF&G said on its Facebook page. "Another resident called and said he found one on his lawn!”

Arctic lampreys, which can grow to about 15 inches long, don’t have fins and aren't covered in scales. They also lack jaws and have a disklike mouth filled with tiny, sharp teeth.

ADF&G believes it may have figured out why the lampreys are “raining from the sky.”

A spokesperson for the department said:​

“The answer is probably gulls. Gulls are picking them out of the Chena River with their bills and then dropping the squirming critters while in flight. Look closely at the bruising and cut marks. These marks are also on the other side of the lamprey. Evidence that they were squeezed between the bill of a gull."

Sea lampreys are dubbed “vampire fish” because they clamp onto other fish, then use their teeth and tongues to bite through its scales and feed on their blood, reports the Mirror.

“Commercial and subsistence fishers throughout Alaska are quite familiar with the telltale, dime-sized circular scars on salmon and trout that have been fed upon by lampreys,” the department said.

Sources: CBS NewsDaily Mirror

Photo Credit: Alaska Department of Fish and Game/Facebook


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