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Leech
Common Name:

Leech

Scientific Name:

Nephelopsis obscura


Unique Qualities:

These bloodsuckers are similar to earthworms in its shape but act very differently from earthworms. The bodies of leaches are divided into 34 segments with a powerful clinging sucker at each end. They latch onto their prey when they’re hungry and can be very hard to pry away. They can be used in medicine as well.

Can be Seen:

Leeches can be seen in any pond, river and freshwater lake all across Canada, the United States, and Europe.

Likes to Hang Out:

Most leeches live in freshwater lakes but some also live on land as well. Land leeches are found in the leaves of wet rain forests and on the ground in moistened places. Sometimes in dry weather, leeches can bury themselves underground for many months without any water. But when given just a few trickles of water, they can be active once again!

Likes to Eat:

Leeches are known as parasites meaning that they feed off the blood of living animals. Some feed on the blood of humans, while others feed on fish, frogs, turtles or birds. Some leeches might even feed off of other leeches!

Status:

Leeches almost became endangered when they were used medically in the 1800s. Since then, their numbers have gone up, though they are still being threatened by contamination of habitat.

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