Definitions for hagfishˈhægˌfɪʃ
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word hagfish
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
any eel-shaped jawless fish of the order Myxiniformes, having a round, sucking mouth and rasping tongue for boring into the flesh of other fishes.
Origin of hagfish:
hagfish, hag, slime eels(noun)
eellike cyclostome having a tongue with horny teeth in a round mouth surrounded by eight tentacles; feeds on dead or trapped fishes by boring into their bodies
any of several primitive eellike creatures, of the family Myxinidae, having a sucking mouth with rasping teeth; considered edible in Japan, their skin is used to make a form of leather
Hagfish, the class Myxini, are eel-shaped slime-producing marine animals. They are the only known living animals that have a skull but not a vertebral column. Along with lampreys, hagfish are jawless and are living fossils; hagfish are basal to vertebrates, and living hagfish remain similar to hagfish 300 million years ago. The classification of hagfish has been controversial. The issue is whether the hagfish is itself a degenerate type of vertebrate-fish, or else may represent a stage which precedes the evolution of the vertebral column. The original scheme groups hagfish and lampreys together as cyclostomes, as the oldest surviving class of vertebrates alongside gnathostomes. An alternative scheme proposed that jawed-vertebrates are more closely related to lampreys than to hagfish, and introduces the category craniata to group vertebrates near hagfish. Recent DNA evidence has supported the original scheme.
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