noun (plural same or hagfishes)
A primitive jawless marine vertebrate distantly related to the lampreys, with a slimy eel-like body, a slit-like mouth surrounded by barbels, and a rasping tongue used for feeding on dead or dying fish.
- Class Myxini and family Myxinidae: several genera, in particular Myxine, and numerous species.
- In contrast, the vertebrate insulin gene became a metabolic regulatory action of insulin early during vertebrate evolution since insulin regulates glucose homeostasis even in hagfishes and lampreys.
- These first vertebrates lacked jaws, like the living hagfish and lampreys.
- They are represented now only by the lampreys, eel-like forms that are parasites on fish, and the hagfish, also eel-like but feeding on dead or dying animals.
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