Marine turbellarian flatworms in the Red Sea

Marine turbellarian flatworms in the Red Sea

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Credit: GEOFF TOMPKINSON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Unidentified marine flatworms moving across a mat of encrusting sponges. This brilliantly coloured species, black with yellow dots and fringed with white, belongs to the most primitive group of flatworms. They are the Turbellarians. They are free-living (non-parasitic), and this polyclad (complex gut) variety is one of the majority that inhabit marine areas. Living in shallow places on the coastal sea floor, they swim only short distances. Moving by wave-like undulations of the body and cilia (motile hairs). The mouth is under the body. The U-shaped protrusion is the penis. This class of worms is related to liver flukes and tapeworms. Photographed in the Red Sea.

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Keywords: animal, flatworm, invertebrate, invertebrates, marine flatworm, marine turbellarian, nature, platyhelminthes, red sea, turbellarian, wildlife, zoology

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