Exploring Platyhelminthes: The Diverse World of Invertebrates, from Free-living to Parasitic Species

Platyhelminthes

phylum of the acoleomates (flat)

Platyhelminthes, also known as flatworms, is a phylum of invertebrates that includes over 25,000 known species. They are characterized by their flattened, ribbon-like bodies, lack of a body cavity, and bilateral symmetry.

Flatworms may be free-living or parasitic and can be found in a wide range of environments, including both marine and freshwater ecosystems. Some are even terrestrial and can survive in damp soil or on surfaces of plants and trees.

Flatworms have a simple nervous system and lack a respiratory system. Instead, they rely on simple diffusion across their body surface to take in oxygen and eliminate waste.

There are two main groups of flatworms: free-living and parasitic. Free-living flatworms are mostly scavengers or predators, feeding on small invertebrates or detritus. Parasitic flatworms can have complex life cycles, often involving multiple hosts. Some of the most well-known parasitic flatworms include tapeworms, which live in the digestive system of vertebrates, and flukes, which can be found in various organs such as liver, lungs, and intestines.

Overall, the study of Platyhelminthes is important for understanding the evolution and diversity of invertebrates, as well as their ecological roles and impacts on human health.

More Answers:

Discovering Turbellarians: Small, Free-Living Flatworms with Unique Characteristics and Habits.
Exploring Platyhelminthes: Characteristics, Classes, and Ecological Importance
Exploring Acoelomates: The Adaptations and Feeding Strategies of Flatworms

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