Blood Sucking Leech

Many people see leeches as some sort of horrid creature that sucks blood for a meal, and in fact in some cases that is true. In others however it is well off from the truth.

There are literally hundreds of types of leeches, around the world and they live in myriad habitats such as freshwater, sea, moist terrestrial and can be found attached to fish, living under rocks clinging to trees and many other places.

They aren’t always easy to spot as they hide quite effectively in plain sight, since they usually blend well with their environments.

Leeches were typically associated with medicine in the dark ages, but in fact some are still used medically today, in cases such as plastic surgery and reconstruction.

Blood Sucking Leech Blood Sucking Leech
Blood Sucking Leech

Aside from medicine, leeches are interesting creatures to watch, and have some odd and fascinating behavior. Many leeches are extraordinarily good at parenting.

They care for the young in a way that is closely associated with mammals rather than a cold water animal. Carrying the eggs, building them a nest or permitting them to remain attached to them are a few of the parenting skills we can see associated with this most heinous looking of animals.

Some leeches even have a pouch, like a kangaroo that they will carry the young inside until they are old enough to provide for themselves, capturing and killing prey for them into the bargain.

Not all leeches eat blood although many do. Some will choose live prey such as gnats, mosquito larva and bugs that live in the water, to eat, as well as snails and freshwater clams. These species have the proboscis much like a butterfly and they will suck the nutrients from the prey like a straw is used to suck up milk . When it is not being used it is retracted into their mouths, and when it comes out again it is usually for prey items.

Many leeches will attach themselves to animals or humans and use the blood as a method of nourishment, requiring removal from the host animal.

Leeches have some positive and very useful qualities if we take the time to look for

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