Giant land planarian

Giant land planarian

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Credit: DR MORLEY READ/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: A giant land planarian which lives on the rainforest floor on the Caribbean island of Trinidad. It belongs to the most primitive class of flatworms - Turbellaria. It crawls out from under detritus at night to feed on large arthropods ( crickets, spiders) which it captures live, presumably by creeping up & engulfing them. The ectoderm contains mucus-secreting cells. This mucus, visible in the picture, aids movement and also protects the delicate body from damage. These planaria grow up to 15 cm in length, this specimen is just 13 cm.

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Keywords: animal, flatworm, giant land, giant land planaria, invertebrate, invertebrates, nature, planaria, platyhelminthes, wildlife, zoology

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