It Wants to Suck Your Blood (Science World)
Did you know that in half an hour a leech can slurp up five times its body weight in blood? Explore these blood-sucking worms and their medicinal value.
More About This Resource...
This online article is from the Museum's Science Explorations, a collaboration between AMNH and Scholastic designed to promote science literacy. Written for students in grades 6-10, this article from Science World magazine has the following content.
- An interview with AMNH scientist Mark Siddall, in which he discusses the amazing diversity of leeches and their medical benefits
- An explanation of how leeches secure themselves to their victims and inject an anti-coagulant to keep their blood meal in liquid form
Less than 1 period
Supplement a study of biology with an activity drawn from this online Science Explorations article.
- Ask students: What are leeches? What do they feed on? Have any of you ever seen one up close?
- Send students to this online article, or print copies of it for them to read.
- Working in small groups, have students research and report on how leeches have been used in medicine.