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Word Count: 383
Leeches The leech is a segmented worm that in all actuallity has a very vivid life From being used by doctors to just being blood-sucking parasites the leech is a true wonder of the mind The leech has a series of ring-like segments that make up its body structure They maybe from 2 to 20 centimeters long and have the ability to shorten or lengthen their bodies They mostly come in colors of black red or brown sometimes with stripes or spots They are extremely sensitive to touch temperatue and drying out Also they have clusters of cells on the front end thatare light-sensative almost like eyes Leeches usually live in dark damp areas such as the bottoms of lakes jungels or shallow streams Finally the leech is a Hermaphrodit containing bot male and female sexual reproductive organs With a sucker at both ends of its body the leech usually lives as a parasite feeding upon the blood and tissue of other animals or on decaying plant and animal materials It has a mouth centered on the front sucker with teeth in some cases Leeches that are parasites attach to their victim with the front sucker create a wound then suck out blood with usually both suckers Blood-sucking leeches give out a liquid substance called Hirudin This chemical prevents the blood from thickening and enables the blood to be easily sucked by the leech Doctors once used leeches or what they called medicinal leeches to remove blood from patients in an orderly manner The first clinical use of leeches in this fashion occured approximatly 2500 years ago Since the leeches bite produces a small cleeding wound that mimics a venous circulation in an area of compromised tissue the leech is particlarly valuable for reconstruction surgery Special properties of the bite such as the chemical hirudin allow continued bleeding for up to
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