126/150: Platyhelminthes – A diverse group of parasites and regenerators!

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Animalia: Platyhelminthes Claus, 1887

Platyhelminthes, also known as flatworms, are an extremely successful phylum with around 25,000 known species. Most of the classes are parasites with only the class Turbellaria being mostly non-parasitic. Platyhelminthes are extremely diverse and are well known predators. They can be found parasitizing many different animals, but of particular concern to humans are flukes and tapeworms which travel through the circulatory system to the intestines or the liver causing inflammation, fatigue, and abdominal pain. So, make sure you cook your meat well, because they are often transmitted through it. Flatworms in the past have been an interesting model of study due to their regenerative power. Researchers have gone to the length of cutting planarian worms until they couldn’t regenerate any more. They discovered that one model organism was able to regenerate as 1/279 of its original size. Despite the many advances in the research of stem cells, there is still much to learn, and these creatures are a great resource to study and better understand regeneration. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Specimen 10BIOBC-00607 – Brady’s Beach, British Columbia Canada – 29-May-2010. Photo Credit: CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
Thysanozoon nigropapillosum – a free-swimming species of Platyhelminthes swimming at 40 ft (12 m) depth, Manta Ray Bay. Photo Credit: Betty Wills goo.gl/QfN4Lt
Arrow head flatworm (Platyhelminth – Bipalium kewense). A land planarian slithering along the ground. Photo Credit: Andreas Kay goo.gl/FifR2T

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: OPQCS173-12

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Platyhelminthes

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:ACC8696