Whenever someone starts discussion about Leeches then a clear picture comes in our mind where Leeches attach themselves with bodies and start sucking blood of ours without let us know. This act of Leeches make them the most horrible creature where they suck the blood until they become full and willingly fall off for digesting blood that they sucked from their host. Before biting their host they release anesthetic because of this we don’t feel any bite of the leeches. While sucking blood they produce mucus that makes them able to stay on their host body and anti-clotting enzyme Hirudin into host blood stream that make blood flowing without clotting. In some cases blood continue flowing for hours after the leech has been removed. All this specialty of leeches may sound terrifying but being bitten by a leech isn’t dangerous or deadly.
Leeches also known for their amazing body structure which is the rarest in animal kingdom. Leeches internal structure has 32 parts and each part has brain and outer surface can be divided into 102 external circular rings. Leech is a segmented worm and unlike other segmented worm its internal and external segmentation do not correspond each other. We can say that leech have one brain that is segmented into 32 part with its own neuronal ganglia which are connected to the adjacent one and control their respective segments and usually work independently. Because of this reason we can say that leeches have 32 brains in one body.
Leeches are hermaphrodite means they can be male or female both at same time and while reproduction process one of them become male and other play as female with two reproductive organs and 9 pairs of testes. Leeches that lost the ability to penetrate a host’s tissue and suck blood are carnivorous and have six to eight pairs of eyes as compared with five pairs in Gnathobdelliform leeches.
Leeches not only relay on blood they eat other boneless creature which is smaller than them by swallowing them whole.
Leeches are used in medical to cure various diseases by removing coagulated blood from patient. Before the discovery of antibiotics leeches play an important role in treatment of infection. Ancient India and Greece use leeches in their medication to cure patient.
The majority of leeches found in freshwater environments. Currently 700 species of leeches recognized by scientist in which 100 are marine and 90 terrestrial and rest belong to freshwater taxa.