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Web Hunt: Bloodsucking Leeches!

It Wants to Suck Your Blood!

May 2006
Mark Siddall is a scientist at the American Museum of Natural History. He collects and studies leeches from around the world, including in the jungles of Madagascar. (Courtesy of Mark Siddall / AMNH. Photo by Evon Hekkala.)<br />
Mark Siddall is a scientist at the American Museum of Natural History. He collects and studies leeches from around the world, including in the jungles of Madagascar. (Courtesy of Mark Siddall / AMNH. Photo by Evon Hekkala.)

To learn more about nature's bloodsucking wonders, take this virtual trip to the American Museum of Natural History and other leech-worthy destinations.

These handy sheets help Web Hunt explorers keep track of what they learn about leeches:

Imagine allowing a leech to drink your blood! That's part of the job description for many scientists who study these segmented worms, animals that get their nourishment by taking a sip of blood from other creatures.

  1. Explain where you'd go to find the most leeches. Find the answer by clicking twice on the arrow at the bottom corner of this OLogy card on Mark Siddall. (Hint: Then click the icons at the top of the card!)

  2. Explain how scientists catch leeches in the wild. Find the answer in the introduction of "IT WANTS TO SUCK YOUR BLOOD!"

  3. Describe how a leech looks. Many leeches have interesting patterns and can be very colorful. What colors and patterns do you see in Colorful Leeches?

  4. Discuss the leech's body parts. How many suckers does it have and where are they located? Find out by visiting the Australian Museum online.

  5. Compare and contrast a leech's body before and after it's eaten One Big Meal.

  6. Why do people raise leeches on farms and sell them? What can leeches do to help people? Find out at the leech farm with Larry Leech!

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