Phylum: Annelida. “ringed”, commonly called segmented worms Examples: earthworms, marine worms, leeches. Traits. Segmented, round, wormlike bodies. Traits. Bilateral symmetry. Traits. cephalized. Traits. Ventral nerve cord. Traits.
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Charles Darwin went so far as to say of earthworms, “It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world, as have these lowly organized creatures.” He believed that earthworms are wholly responsible for the top layer of rich soil on the Earth
Up to 15 feet stretched out!
If touched, the setae will detach and lodge in the skin causing burning, itching, and numbness from the toxins they contain
Irritating them can cause them to regurgitate their stomach contents in the wound, risking infection or disease
Leech saliva contains compounds that reduce pain, prevent clotting and dilate blood vessels. This prevents the tissue from dying off and allows the body to reestablish good blood flow to the reattached part.
Summary: A 45-year-old, white male patient who suffered a complete avulsion of the upper two-thirds of his right ear. The ear was reattached by doing a microvascularanastomosis of a small artery anteriorly. No veins were available for anastomosis. Soon after anastomosis, there was obvious venous congestion. Medicinal leeches were used for treating venous congestion
48 Hours:3 leeches have been applied every 8 hours. Following the initial application, obvious improvement was noted
Night crawlers also mate on the surface. They are hermaphroditic but do not self-fertilize. Following mating, each worm forms a tiny, lemon-shaped cocoon out of a liquid secreted from its clitellum, the familiar-looking bulge seen near the first third of the earthworm’s body. The sperm and egg cells are deposited inside the cocoon, and it is buried. After a two- to four-week gestation period, the baby worms emerge.