Flatworm Animal Insect Facts & Pictures

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Gliding over rocks and seaweed in shallow seas, the free, Swimming candystripe flatworm, prostheceraevs vittatus, is occasionally seen by divers. It lives beneath stones in muddy habitats in the atlantik ocean and the north sea. Length 2 inches (5 cm).

Common name: flatworms, tapeworms, flukes.

Phylum: platyhelminthes

Number of species: about 25,000

Size: from about 0.001 in (0.03 mm) to 13 ft (4 m); occasionally reach 65 ft (20 m)

Key features: flattened body with front and rear and; no coelom (body cavity); gut often absent or incomplete, or may carry simple sense organs such as light-sensitive ocelli

Breedind: sexual and asexual, most species hermaphrodite, but some dioecious (having either male or female sexual organs); development may be direct from egg to adult or involve metamorphosis from a free-living larval form; life cycle may involve more then 1 host

Diet: free-living species may be carnivorous or scavenging; parasites feed on body fluids or gut contents of host

Habitat: free-living species are mostly aquatic, some have evolved to live in humid places on land; parasitic species are carried with hosts

Distribution: worldwide

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