Flatworm Stock Video Footage


flatworm

Platyhelminthes are bilaterally symmetrical animals: their left and right sides are mirror images of each other this also implies they have distinct top and bottom surfaces and distinct head and tail ends. Like other bilaterians, they have three main cell layers (endoderm, mesoderm, and ectoderm), while the radially symmetrical cnidarians and ctenophores (comb jellies) have only two cell layers. Beyond that, they are "defined more by what they do not have than by any particular series of specializations." Unlike other bilaterians, Platyhelminthes have no internal body cavity, so are described as acoelomates. They also lack specialized circulatory and respiratory organs, both of these facts are defining features when classifying a flatworm's anatomy. Their bodies are soft and unsegmented. The lack of circulatory and respiratory organs limits platyhelminths to sizes and shapes that enable oxygen to reach and carbon dioxide to leave all parts of their bodies by simple diffusion. Hence, many are microscopic and the large species have flat ribbon-like or leaf-like shapes. The guts of large species have many branches, allowing nutrients to diffuse to all parts of the body. Respiration through the whole surface of the body makes them vulnerable to fluid loss, and restricts them to environments where dehydration is unlikely: sea and freshwater, moist terrestrial environments such as leaf litter or between grains of soil, and as parasites within other animals. The s...




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