DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Mammal intestine tapeworm (Taenia sp.). The adult has a head (scolex) with suckers and/or hooks that are used to attach to the host. Note the predominant hooks used for attachment to the intestinal wall. This species occurs most often in mammals. In some instances the tapeworm can be transmitted to humans. Tapeworms are a type of flatworm that can parasitize animal and human intestines. Body segments called proglottids are budded off from the head and neck region of the tapeworm while the tapeworm grows in the intestine. Tapeworms have no digestive systems of their own but absorb directly through their skin the food ingested and broken down by the host. Tapeworms can cause diarrhoea, weight loss and abdominal discomfort in humans. Adult tapeworms may grow 5-10 meters in length. Magnification x16 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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