Giant Flesh-Eating Leech Filmed Swallowing Huge Earthworm Like Spaghetti

Written by: Lisa Stelzner

Primary Source: Daily Dose of Science Blog

What is it about nasty animals that still fascinate us so much we can’t turn away, and even click the link for what is sure to be a gross, squeamish video?  Human curiosity, I guess.  A brand-new leech species, one of the largest in the world, has been discovered in Borneo’s forests.  As luck would have it, a BBC film crew was able to find it (during a rainstorm, after several weeks of searching) with help from an ecologist and captured video footage of it in action!

The giant red leech they found was 50cm long, and is so big that it doesn’t feed on blood like most leeches.  It actually has a wide mouth and just slurps its prey down – including an earthworm that is longer than the leech!  Little is known about the leech species because it hasn’t been studied yet.  It doesn’t even have a Latin name.

I have a feeling you won’t be able to resist clicking the link to watch the video, either.  It’s even complete with weird, horror music to set the scene.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/11123365/Giant-flesh-eating-leech-filmed-swallowing-huge-earthworm-like-spaghetti.html

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Lisa Stelzner
I'm a plant biology PhD student studying monarch butterflies in Michigan, but I'm interested in lots of other types of science, too. I am interested in how breeding monarch butterflies choose their habitat based on floral species richness and abundance. Few studies have been conducted on optimal foraging theory when it involves an organism searching for two different kinds of resources, and butterflies are an ideal study system to investigate this, since many species are ovipositing specialists and only lay eggs on one species of hostplant, but are feeding generalists and nectar from a broad variety of flowering forbs.