Bird tapeworm, SEM

Bird tapeworm, SEM

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Credit: STEVE GSCHMEISSNER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Bird tapeworm (class Cestoda), coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM). The hooks (orange) at the tip of the tapeworm's head (scolex) are used to anchor the worm to its host's intestinal lining. It does not possess a digestive tract and so absorbs nutrients from the half-digested food of the host through the segments, or proglottids, of its body. The proglottids also have both male and female sex organs and therefore are able to produce eggs. The eggs are released into the host's intestines and are expelled with the faeces.

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