Have you ever seen a gold dotted creature? Well, these are what are known as flatworms. There are more than 25000 kinds of flatworms living on the earth. This makes it difficult to identify them easily. Many of the flatworms do not resemble a worm at all. Let us find out more about these unique creatures.
Flatworm belongs to the Platyhelminthes phylum. These are the simplest of the worm group. You can find flatworms in several places. These can be parasitic flatworms or free living. The parasite lives off another living thing called a host, which is harmful. Tapeworm is one of the well-known flatworms.
The tapeworm gets into a person's digestive tract and then grows to an enormous length. The tapeworm then eats the hosts' food and is dangerous to the human or animal.
Flatworms are usually 0.04 inches or 1 millimeter in length. However, these can also grow as long as 20 meters or 66 feet. These consist of a flat body, and this is because flatworms do not have any coelom. Flatworms also lack any respiratory system. Their cells exchange gases through diffusion with the environment directly. Flatworms do not have a complete digestive system.
Flatworms reflect many evolutionary advances in invertebrates. These have three embryonic cell layers, which also include the mesoderm. The mesoderm layers let them develop their organ system. The flatworms have an excretory and muscular system. Their muscular system lets them move from one place to another on any solid surface. The excretory system lets them maintain their water and salt balance. Flatworms also show bilateral symmetry.
Flatworms have sexual reproduction. In most flatworms reproduction, the same individual will produce both the sperm and the egg. After fertilization, the fertilized eggs pass from the adult's body and then hatch into larvae. The larva stages are many, and in the final stage, the larva develops into adults. This life cycle keeps repeating.
Flatworms survive in various environments. Some of them are free-living, which feeds on small organisms and rotting matter. These are called marine flatworms and freshwater flatworms. Other kinds of flatworms are parasitic. They live inside another organism which is the host.
Tapeworms and flukes are parasitic. Flatworms in humans are also possible. The tapeworm lives in the digestive system of the host. Usually, they need more than one kind of host to complete their life cycle. Tapeworms do not have a digestive system or a mouth. These get their nutrients from the host's digestive system, which they take in through their suckers.
Not all are flatworm parasites. Some are free-living and carnivorous. These feed on small invertebrates and decaying animal matter. Most of these free-living species are aquatic, and some of them are also found in moist soil.
Listed below are the important features of a flatworm.
1. Are flatworms harmful to humans?
Several parasitic flatworms take residence in the host humans. These cause infections and disease and are harmful to humans. However, not every kind of flatworm is a parasite. Certain flatworms are free-living and carnivores that do not reside in the human body and are thus not harmful.
2. What are the 3 characteristics of flatworms?
Here are the 3 characteristics of flatworms that are true of all the species:
3. What are 2 examples of flatworms?
There are many kinds of flatworms. There are today 25000 known varieties of flatworms. Liver fluke and planaria are the two examples of flatworms among the many species discovered.
4. Where are flatworms found?
Most of the freshwater variety of flatworms is free living. These can be found in ponds, streams, lakes, temporary puddles, and ditches.
5. What eats a flatworm?
Blue Velvet Nudibranch is believed to eat the flatworm.
6. What do flatworms look like?
The flatworms are of several kinds; however, mostly, these are bilaterally symmetrical animals. It means that their left and right sides are mirror images of each other.
7. What color are flatworms?
Some flatworms are colorful. These are bright blue, orange, green, or pink. You can also find flatworms in brown and some dull colours.
8. Is a tapeworm a flatworm?
Yes tapeworm is a flatworm. These stay in the human body, where the human body acts as a host.
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