Suspended in its glass prison, the lamprey gapes but nobody can hear its cry.
The D’Arcy Thompson museum is a rare jewel that gleams in the deepest chambers of the heart of Dundee University.
This lamprey was collected over a century ago. I don’t know if D’Arcy Thompson himself found this specimen and brought it home. I do know, however, that the long maritime history of Dundee meant that he had many contacts with seagoing people and they often brought interesting creatures back for him, often preserved in cigar boxes or jam jars.
Lampreys are interesting animals. They have few natural predators and their legendary appetite and disturbing jawless mouth has even made them into something of an Internet celebrity phenomenon. When the USA cleaned up its rivers, the resulting improved environment suited lampreys so well that they decimated the freshwater fish stock.