The discovery by Oscar Bridge of a sea lamprey on the banks of the Thames has inadvertently helped proved the river's cleanliness. Bridge was taking part in a clean-up along the bank in Fulham when he discovered the prehistoric critter, which, like Anne Robinson's grimace, has barely changed in millennia. The key to the lamprey is that it's a fussy beastie — they venture into fresh water only if it is of the cleanest quality. The Thames was declared biologically dead in the 1960s, and as a city we should be proud to have scrubbed it back into shape. Great news then, but for those thinking clean river means a perfect way to cheat the heat, the sea lamprey's feeding method may give cause for pause: a parasite, it attaches its circular mouth to larger creatures and sucks out their insides.
Last Updated 01 July 2009