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

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

120/150: Nematodes, one of the most abundant organisms on Earth

Animalia: Nematoda: Chromadorea: Rhabditida (Diesing, 1861)

Nematodes, aka roundworms, are extremely successful organisms that have adapted to almost every ecosystem; including polar regions, soils, as well as the inside of other organisms (you and me!). Nematodes represent 90% of all animals on the ocean floor and have been found at depths of over 3 km below the surface of the Earth in gold mines. Continue reading “120/150: Nematodes, one of the most abundant organisms on Earth”

54/150: Imagine a worm 60 metres long!

Animalia: Nemertea: Enopla: Monostilifera: Emplectonematidae: Paranemertes: Paranemertes peregrina (Coe, 1901)

Nemertea, also known as “ribbon worm” is a phylum of marine invertebrate worm-like animals that are characterized by their eversible proboscis. The proboscis is used to catch prey and comes out of the nemertean’s body and stabs its prey with a venomous tip. Continue reading “54/150: Imagine a worm 60 metres long!”

46/150: Earthworms – Westward Ho!

animalia: Annelida: Clitellata: Haplotaxida: Lumbricidae: Dendrobaena: Dendrobaena octaedra (Savigny, 1826)

Happy Earth Day! Let’s talk about earthworms! Although they are found in many gardens and forests in Canada today, earthworms such as Dendrobaena octaedra are not actually native to this country. In fact, their movement and establishment to North America can be traced to early settlers from Europe, who may have either brought worms for agricultural benefits or accidentally in ship ballasts. Continue reading “46/150: Earthworms – Westward Ho!”

15/150: Pretty underwater feather dusters or worms with tentacle eyes? Why not both!

Animalia: Annelida: Polychaeta: Sabellida: Sabellidae: Eudistylia: Eudistylia vancouveri (Kinberg, 1866)

You wouldn’t expect that the beautiful Vancouver feather duster (Eudistylia vancouveri) is a type of worm, but that’s exactly what it is. It belongs to a class of segmented bristle worms called Polychaeta within the family Sabellidae, AKA feather duster worms. They are sedentary marine worms that live in parchment-like tubes made of sediment. Their heads are concealed in a feathery crown of colourful tentacles, called radioles, which are used for respiration and filter feeding. Continue reading “15/150: Pretty underwater feather dusters or worms with tentacle eyes? Why not both!”