Home > Animals > Invertebrates > Leeches




Category: Invertebrates



While similar in some ways to earthworms, leeches differ in other distinct ways – for example, leeches do not have bristles and have a sucker at each end of their body. Most leeches live in freshwater, though there are terrestrial and saltwater exceptions. They are well known for their adaptation of blood-sucking, though not all species of leech feed this way. Of the ones that do, some species are able to store more than five times their body mass of blood in their digestive system.


Data & Facts

Scientific Classification
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Annelida
Class - Clitellata

Did you know?
Interesting Animal Facts

Rub some dirt on it!

Could it be we have been too good at ridding our bodies of parasitic worms? Believe it or not, our efforts at keeping squeaky-clean and sanitary in the developed world may be contributing to increased allergies, asthma, psoriasis, even autoimmune diseases. The human immune system, having evolved with parasitic worms, recognizes them, and has learned to reduce inflammation and stimulate healing when these tiny intruders are sensed. While getting worms may be seen as too high a price to pay for many, for people suffering from severe allergies or colitis, it may be worth it. Victims of multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease have shown a promising reduction in symptoms (even remission in Crohn’s) after ingesting whipworm eggs - a treatment that may be worth it to some until a cure is found!

Learn more >>


NAIA - National Animal Interest Alliance Discover Animals is a web-based educational resource offered by the NAIA
To learn more about the NAIA or about other NAIA programs, visit us at www.NAIAOnline.org
if you would like to help, join or support the NAIA or any of its programs please click here >>