Person helps the release of leeches from a cocoon

Person helps the release of leeches from a cocoon

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Credit: GEOFF TOMPKINSON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Leech cocoon. Person assists the release of young medicinal leeches, Hirudo medicinalis, by squeez- ing their egg cocoon. The cocoon is comprised of a protective, sponge-like material which encloses a jelly which provides nutrients for up to 20 eggs. In leech breeding centres, the young leeches are assisted out of the cocoon because those which are left to hatch by themselves in their mossy enclosures are difficult to find.

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Keywords: animal, cocoon, egg cocoon, hirudinea, hirudo medicinalis, invertebrate, invertebrates, leech, medicinal, medicinal leech, nature, wildlife, zoology

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