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Overview

Brief Summary

There are a total of around 20,000 species of flatworms, some of which live in the sea, others in freshwater and some of which are parasitic. As the name suggests, flatworms are flat and relatively broad. They are primitive animals, but have a definite head and tail and a developed nervous system. The body and reproduction deviate so much from other worms that they have been categorized separately. The larger species glide through the water just like snails. Despite the fact that they are primitive, these animals are capable of learning. For example, they reacted to a lamp in experiments and can also learn to react to it always in the same way.
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Members of the Phylum Platyhelminthes are typically called flatworms because of their flattened bodies. These animals lack appendages, and their bodies can take many forms, such as slender, leaflike, or ribbon-like. This diverse group of bilateral invertebrates ranges widely in size from 1mm or less to tapeworms that grow to many meters in length. There are both free-living and parasitic flatworms, and species are found in both freshwater and marine environments.

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Ecology

Associations

Known predators

Platyhelminthes (fluke) is prey of:
Anatidae
Phalacrocoracidae

Based on studies in:
USA: New York, Long Island (Marine)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • G. M. Woodwell, Toxic substances and ecological cycles, Sci. Am. 216(3):24-31, from pp. 26-27 (March 1967).
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Known prey organisms

Platyhelminthes (fluke) preys on:
Plantae

Based on studies in:
USA: New York, Long Island (Marine)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • G. M. Woodwell, Toxic substances and ecological cycles, Sci. Am. 216(3):24-31, from pp. 26-27 (March 1967).
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
                                        
Specimen Records:10,491Public Records:4,086
Specimens with Sequences:6,946Public Species:396
Specimens with Barcodes:3,645Public BINs:437
Species:638         
Species With Barcodes:376         
          
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Barcode data

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Locations of barcode samples

Collection Sites: world map showing specimen collection locations for Platyhelminthes

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