Leech, Illustration

Leech, Illustration

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Credit: Monica Schroeder/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Illustration of a leech (Hirudo medicinalis officinalis). Leeches are bloodsucking worms with a flattened body which inhabit fresh water and in tropical countries infest damp forests. They are harmful to people and animals to whom they attach by means of a strong mouth adapted to sucking. The saliva of leeches contains an anti-clotting substance, called hirudin, which is injected into the wound before sucking blood.

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Keywords: animal, art, blood-sucker, hirudo medicinalis, hirudo medicinalis officinalis, illustration, invertebrate, leech, medicinal leech, natural science, science nature, worm, zoology

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