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Cave leech

Cave leech

C009/4892

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Credit

PATRICK LANDMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PATRICK LANDMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Cave leech. Close-up of a leech (subclass Hirudinea) found only in the Movile Cave, Romania. Life in this cave has been cut off from the outside world for the past 5.5 million years. Whereas leeches are usually thought of as blood-sucking animals, this species is unusual as it has survived in an apparently blood-free environment for so long.

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Model release not required. Property release not required.

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