Friday, January 15, 2010

The Hideous Hagfish

Hagfish (Myxine glutinosa) Hagfish are found in all depth of water and lie buried in fine sands or silt when not feeding. A hermaphrodite, Hagfish belong to the group of primitive, jawless fish including the marine and freshwater lampreys. A thick layer of glutinous slime covers the whole body and can be sloughed in copious amounts when handled. It should be noted that they are the only animals that have a skull but not a vertebral column. Their fossils date back approximately 330 million years to the Late Carboniferous period. Due to their unusual feeding habits and slime-producing capabilities, members of the scientific and popular media to dub the hagfish as the most "disgusting" of all sea creatures.

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