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Why Blood-Sucking Fish are Falling from the Sky in Alaska

Why Blood-Sucking Fish are Falling from the Sky in Alaska

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game told locals to be on the lookout for blood-sucking lampreys which have been seen falling from the sky in recent weeks.

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Falling From the Sky

In a June 3, 2015 Facebook post, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game said that they had received calls about a live arctic lamprey found in a “strange locations” such as a parking lot or a resident’s yard. 4 such sightings were reported in a single week.

While the shocking headline of the post read “Funny Fish Falling From The Sky,” it turns out that the culprit for these falling fish are simply birds who could not hold onto their prey.

“Gulls are picking them out of the Chena River with their bills and then dropping the squirming critters while in flight,” the post explained. They posted a photo showing bruising and cut marks as “Evidence that they were squeezed between the bill of a gull.”

Although native to the area, these lampreys are a relatively rare sight. As Erik Anderson of the Alaksa Department of Fish and Game explains, “…some people have never seen a lamprey despite their abundance in the Chena River. This is because as juveniles, they live their lives down in the mud, and as adults, they migrate under the ice.”

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