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  1. ITV Report

Blood-sucking razor-toothed fish returns to English waters

Sea lampreys predate dinosaurs by 200 million years. Credit: Environment Agency

This terrifying-looking razor-toothed fish predates dinosaurs and was once a delicacy of kings.

The aquatic vampire-like creature, who also suck the blood of other fish, was thought to have died out in the 1800s.

But the fish, which can grow up to 3ft long, has been spotted in English rivers once more - in the River Derwent in Yorkshire.

Lamprey's have razor-sharp teeth and sucker-like tongues they use to suck the blood of other fish. Credit: Environment Agency

However, they are thought to be harmless to humans and their return to British waters is actually a good sign, according to the Environment Agency.

"Lampreys died out largely during the industrial revolution in the 1800s because of all the pollution in the water, " a spokesman told ITV News.

"Their return to their old habitats is a good indicator that pollution levels are at their lowest ever and our rivers have a healthy eco-system."

Lampreys can grow up to 3ft long. Credit: Environment Agency

Lamprey was once regarded as a luxury food and is recorded as being eaten by Vikings, poached in red wine by the Romans and made into Lamprey pie for British royalty.

King John is said to have fined the City of Gloucester the equivalent of £250,000 for not delivering his Christmas lamprey pie.

And it is thought King Henry I died from overindulging on the delicacy, which has also featured on hit TV show Game of Thrones.