Insights into the lives of arrow worms (Phylum Chaetognatha)
By: M E Skeel
Arrow worms are small, planktonic, marine predators. They are slender, transparent and just a few centimeters long. There are over a hundred species, mostly found in warm, shallow seas but also occuring in polar regions. They are most common in the Indo-Pacific region where they...
Facts about Flukes (Platyhelminthes Trematoda)
By: M E Skeel
Flukes are flatworms modified for a life of parasitism. They belong to the Phylum Platyhelminthes along wtih free-living flatworms such as Dugesia and the parastic cestodes or tapeworms. All platyhelminths, including the flukes, share a number of characteristics. They are unsegmented and bilaterally symmetrical, meaning...
Information about roundworms (Phylum Nematoda)
By: M E Skeel
Nematodes are simple worms that are found simply everywhere. Buchsbaum (p 175) quotes 'a leading student of the nematodes', who said: "If all the matter in the universe except the nematodes were swept away, our world would still be dimly recognizable, and if, as disembodied...
Fire ants: As painful as their name suggests!
By: David Pitts
If an army fought with the aggressiveness of fire ants, it would never lose a battle. Their sting is indeed painful and persistent, but it is their aggressiveness that sets them apart from other ants. If you observe the top of one of their huge...
Information about the Scaphopods (Phylum Mollusca)
By: M E Skeel
Scaphopods are a small class of molluscs with shells shaped like elephant tusks, which gives them their common name of tusk shells. The name scaphopod means shovel-foot but it is actually their 'head' that they use for burrowing through the marine sediments where they live...
Information about tape worms (Platyhelminthes Cestoda)
By: M E Skeel
Tapeworms are flatworms that are totally adapted for a life of parasitism. They look as if they are segmented but it is not true segmentation such as that found in the annelids. Instead tapeworms are included in the Phylum Platyhelminthes, because they have no coelom...
Information about Nemertean Worms (Phylum Nemertea)
By: M E Skeel
Nemerteans or ribbon worms are small, flat, acoelomate worms related to flatworms. They are abundant in the littoral zone of temperate oceans where they make tubes in mud and sand or crawl among the rocks and seaweeds. There are about 1500 species worldwide, most in...
Is Amphioxus our closest invertebrate relative? (Phylum Cephalochordata)
By: M E Skeel
Amphioxus is a strange little beast. It's a kind of worm and, in fact, my favorite worm. It is built on a plan that is upside down to most other worms and this gives it a special place in taxonomy because, arguably, it may be...
Mayflies: A day in the life
By: M E Skeel
There is a common misconception that Mayflies only live for a day. Even the scientific name of the order, Ephemeroptera, gives this impression, the 'ephemeral-wings'. But in fact Mayflies live for at least a year and sometimes two or three from the time their egg...
The world of praying mantids (Insect Order Mantodea)
By: M E Skeel
Praying mantids used to be lumped with grasshoppers in the order Orthoptera. They were taken out of there and became a suborder in the Dictyoptera along with the stick insects and the cockroaches, but most experts prefer to put them in their own Order, Mantodea...

 

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