LM of medicinal leech

LM of medicinal leech

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Credit: POWER AND SYRED/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Light micrograph of a tranverse section through a medicinal leech, Hirudo medicinalis medicinalis. The large, round feature seen here at the bottom is the intestine. Leeches live a semi-parasitic life, their food being derived mainly from the blood of other animals. The body of a leech is relatively short and is equipped with a sucker at each end. The alimentary tract is provided with an enormous pouched crop in which blood is stored prior to digestion. The medicinal leech was once used extensively for letting blood; physicians would prescribe its use for all manner of ailments, particularly inflammatory conditions. Magnification: x40 at 35mm size.

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Keywords: animal, hirudinea, hirudo medicinalis officinalis, invertebrate, invertebrates, leech, light micrograph, medicinal, nature, wildlife, zoology

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