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Which morphological features differentiate the members of the phylum Annelida from nematodes and
Platyhelminthes are worms with flat bodies (flatworms), whereas nematodes are worms with cylindrical but not
segmented bodies (roundworms). Annelids are cylindrical worms with segmented bodies (they are metameric).
3. What is the key innovation in annelids?
The key innovation found in the species of the phylum Annelida is the coelom, an internal body cavity completely
covered by the mesoderm, a feature also present in arthropods, molluscs, echinoderms and chordates. Platyhelminthes
are acoelomate and nematodes are pseudocoelomate (their internal cavity is partially covered by the mesoderm).
Another important evolutionary innovation in annelids is their closed circulatory system.
4. What morphological characteristic suggests proximity between organisms of the phylum Annelida and arthropods?
The segmentation of the body of annelids into metameres makes annelids close to arthropods, since they are also
segmented organisms. (Furthermore, bristles present in oligochaete and polychaete annelids are covered with chitin, the
same substance that composes the exoskeleton of arthropods.)
5. How does digestion in organisms of the phylum Annelida take place? What type of digestive system do they have?
Digestion in organisms of the phylum Annelida is extracellular. These animals have a complete digestive system, with a
mouth and anus.
6. Which features and organs of the digestive system of earthworms are related to their diet?
Earthworms eat decomposing organic material and small organisms ingested together with soil particles. The digestive
tract of earthworms has special structures, including a muscular wall and a gizzard, which triturate the food and scratch it
against the ingested soil particles. Since annelid digestion is exclusively extracellular, at the end of their digestive system,
earthworms also contain structures such as the cecum and the typhlosole, which have the function of increasing the
absorption surface of the intestine.
7. The vascular lesions caused by leeches on the blood vessels of their host cause blood to coagulate naturally. How does
the leech solve the problem of the ingested blood potentially coagulating inside its body?
Ingested blood does not coagulate inside the leech (Hirudo medicinalis) because a potent anticoagulant substance is
contained in its saliva. This substance is a protein called hirudin.
In the past, leeches were commonly used as a medical treatment. Nowadays, hirudotherapy is used in patients with
extensive and chronic inflammation of the skin, as a prevention for tissue necrosis after some surgeries and in several
others fields of medicine.
8. How is the respiratory system of species of the phylum Annelida characterized?
Respiration in annelids can be cutaneous or branchial. Cutaneous respiration occurs through the large amount of veins
under the epidermis. Gills are present in aquatic annelids are located in the parapodia (false claws), which have an
extensive network of capillaries.
9. What is meant when it is said that organisms of the phylum Annelida are vascular organisms? From which other phyla
of the animal kingdom does this feature differentiate them?
The classification of these organisms as vascular means that they have a circulatory system with vessels that distribute
substances throughout the body.
Poriferans, cnidarians and flatworms do not have a circulatory system. In nematodes, the circulation of gases and
nutrients through the pseudocoelom fluid takes place.
10. How are the circulatory systems of animals classified?
A circulatory system is classified as either open or closed. In open circulatory systems, blood exits vessels and flows into
large cavities that perfuse the tissues to be irrigated. In closed circulatory systems, blood circulates only within blood
vessels and through the heart.
11. What type of circulatory system is present in annelids?
In organisms of the phylum Annelida, the circulatory system is closed, meaning that blood circulation takes place only
within specialized vessels.
12. Does annelid blood contain a respiratory pigment?
The blood in organisms of the phylum Annelida contains the respiratory pigment hemoglobin (the same one found in
chordates) as well as other pigments.
13. How can the presence, location and function of muscle tissue in organisms of the phylum Annelida be explained?

The metanephridium has an extremity. the nephrostoma. In terms of the occurrence of separate sexes. allowing the entrance of gases and nutrients that are useful for plant roots and other living organisms. you should specifically educate your community to interrupt the transmission of hookworms by: . basic morphology. hirudineans (such as leeches) and2 polychaetes (these are mostly marine aquatic organisms with parapodia. with hemoglobin. Type of symmetry: bilateral. excretory system. Therefore. Therefore. which opens to the surface of the body. 20. Is embryonic development in earthworms direct or indirect? In earthworms. earthworms). 19. Their larva is called trocophore. How can the excretory system of annelids be described? In each segment (metamere) of the organism. How can the nervous system in organisms of the phylum Annelida be described? How can the cephalization in annelids be compared to cephalization in nematodes and platyhelminthes? Annelids have a nervous system made of two ventral cords and one relatively large nervous cell concentration at its anterior portion. 18. so embryonic development is direct. another circular (radial to the axis) muscle layer. whereas in planaria (platyhelminthes) there are only two small anterior “cerebral” ganglia from which neural cords split. digestive system. circulatory system. germ layers and coelom. as they eat decomposing organic material. 17. How can they be described according to examples of representative species. What is the ecological role of earthworms? Earthworms have an important ecological role. there is no larval stage. type of symmetry. By alternating contractions. 14.These organisms contain a longitudinal muscle layer under the epidermis and. Nervous system: neural cords. cephalization in annelids is greater than in nematodes or in flatworms. Digestive system: complete. how can organisms of the phylum Annelida classified? These organisms may be dioecious (the majority of polychaetes) or hermaphrodite monoecious (oligochaetes and hirudineans). Basic morphology: cylindrical body. 16. anterior concentration of neurons (primitive brain). Germ layers and coelom: triploblastic. 21. The material to be excreted goes out through a pore. a pair of ganglia per metamere. leeches. respiratory system. What preventive measure should you advise people in your community to apply to protect themselves from hookworms? Answer In addition to all the measures involving personal hygiene after defaecation. nervous system and types of reproduction? Examples of representative species: earthworms. Into which classes is the phylum Annelida divided? The phylum Annelida is divided into three classes: oligochaetes (for example. They also dig tunnels in the subsoil. What is the name of the larval stage of polychaetes? Among the classes of annelids. Excretory system: a pair of metanephridia in each metamere. The main features of annelids. What is the clitellum of earthworms and where it is located? The clitellum is a special region of the annelid made up of rings (metameres) with a reproductive function. lugworms. only polychaetes have a larval stage. The circular muscle layer has the function of elongating the body while the longitudinal one shortens it. Respiratory system: cutaneous or branchial. with dioecious and monoecious species. a ventral and a dorsal one. such as nereis). they play the role as decomposers and fertilizers. filtering it and causing reabsorption along its extension (similar to human nephron tubules). the nephridiopore.. Types of reproduction: sexual. 22. internally juxtaposed and perpendicular to it. coelomates. which resembles a primitive brain. Circulatory system: closed. 15. a pair of complete excretory structures called the metanephridium exists. before food preparation and when eating etc. It can be found in the anterior portion of the animal and is distinguished by a lighter color in comparison to the normal color of the other segments. which collects waste from the coelom. segmented (metameric). both promote movement. Nematodes have an anterior neural ring connected to two neural cords.

if he describes the diarrhoea as: 1. 8. 2. Suppose a 30-year-old man came to you complaining of diarrhoea. Which diseases do you suspect. Watery? 3. The diseases that you should suspect as causes of bloody diarrhoea are shigellosis (bacillary dysentery) and amoebiasis (amoebic dysentery). Common diseases caused by intestinal helminths in Ethiopia include ascariasis and hookworm infection. For persistent or severe cases in children. in contrast to shigellosis (bacillary dysentery) which mainly affects young children. disposing of faeces safely and stopping open defaecation in fields. Parasitic infection of the intestines could be due to protozoa or helminths. The diseases that you should suspect as causes of watery diarrhoea include cholera or a viral diarrhoeal disease (although rotavirus infection is not common in adults). Common types of intestinal protozoal infections in Ethiopia include ameobiasis and giardiasis. 3. use of latrines and proper disposal of faeces. You asked about the type of diarrhoea and the patient described it to you. you should suspect giardiasis. Hookworm infection is a common cause of anaemia in areas where walking barefooted is common and sanitary conditions are poor. Treat cases with albendazole or mebendazole according to the schedule in Table 34. . 6. Cases present with abdominal discomfort and you may see the passage of live worms with the faeces or vomit. Giardiasis presents with pale.  Wearing shoes to prevent the parasites from entering through skin while walking barefooted.  Using latrines. to kill ascaris and hookworms. and all adults with suspected giardiasis. 7. 3. using the dosages in Table 34. start rehydration and then refer them for laboratory diagnosis and treatment. Ascariasis is the commonest intestinal helminth infection in children. Amoebic dysentery is rare in children. Pale and greasy? How should you manage the patient in each of the above cases? Answer 1. 2. For children with mild cases.1. Refer suspect cases for laboratory confirmation and educate the community on shoe wearing.1. by rehydrating with ORS. treat as for acute watery diarrhoea. Ameobiasis presents with dysentery (stools containing blood and mucus). 5. 4. All children aged between two to five years should be routinely dewormed every six months. 1. Bloody with mucus? 2. If the patient describes his condition as greasy diarrhoea. to prevent contamination of soil with the parasites. Suspected cases of amoebiasis should be started on rehydration with ORS and then referred for laboratory diagnosis and treatment. greasy and foul-smelling diarrhoea.

What possible causes of anaemia do you consider? 2. What evidence would suggest hookworm infection? 3. 1. safe disposal of faeces. or the malaria rapid diagnostic test is negative). while for hookworm infection it is through the skin. The difference is that the route of entry for ascariasis is through the mouth. malnutrition. How do you manage Abebe’s illness? Answer 1. and treatment for his anaemia. and avoiding contamination of food and drinking water. 3. and avoiding open defaecation in fields. to the measures described in (a). 2. if malaria is not locally endemic. Whatever the cause. and hookworm infection. Another similarity is that routine deworming of children aged two to five years every six months with albendazole or mebendazole reduces the reservoir of both diseases in the community. The route of exit for the eggs of ascaris worms and hookworms is the same – with the faeces. a recent history of bleeding. usually on bare feet. and the presence of risk factors for hookworm – walking barefooted in areas where faeces contaminate the soil. the adult patient should be started on rehydration with ORS and referred to a higher level health facility for laboratory investigation and treatment.3) Abebe is a farmer who came to you with symptoms of anaemia. The common causes of anaemia to be considered include malaria. This prevents contamination of soils with infected faeces. The evidence that suggests hookworm infections is the absence of other obvious causes (e. different? Answer 1. (test Learning Outcomes 34.g. In addition. or diagnosis of another cause. refer Abebe to a higher level health facility for laboratory diagnosis and treatment if he has hookworms.1. Prevention and control measures that are common to both diseases are use of latrines. How are the prevention and control measures for ascariasis and hookworm infection: 1. the same? 2. CLASSIFICATION OF ANNELIDA Phylum ANNELIDA .2 and 34. 2.Irrespective of the type of diarrhoea. 34. Prevention and control measures for ascariasis involve prevention of hand- to-mouth transmission of the infectious agents. prevention and control measures for hookworm include wearing shoes.

Eunice. The polychaetes are so named because of the numerous setae or chaetae they bear. Polynoe. Polychaetes are dioecious but have no permanent sex organs and no gonoducts. The Giant Earthworm (Megascolides australis) can attain 1 m length. Arenicola. Excretion takes place by nephridia. Annelids are vermiform. Body length varies from less than 1 mm to more than 3 m. because of which polychaetes are sometimes referred to as bristle worms. Body size varies from 1 mm to about one metre. Ex. bilaterally symmetrical. Haementeria ghilianii. Blood vascular system is closed type and a respiratory pigment is usually present. such as eyes. Terebella. There are more than 9000 species of annelids in the world. antennae and sensory palps and there is no clitellum on body.000 m. burrowing and tube-dwelling members. triploblastic and schizocoelomate animals whose body is metamerically segmented and covered with a layer of cuticle. identical segments and well-developed parapodia and setae. Class POLYCHAETA Polychaetes are mostly marine but some are freshwater or brackish water species. Teeth or jaws are generally absent. The group includes swimming. Class OLIGOCHAETA . Polychaetes differ from other annelids in having a well differentiated head with sense organs. living in tubes or burrows and feeding on planktons and detritus. some are active burrowers and crawlers. Commonly found from the intertidal zone to depths of over 5. Based on their habitat they are divided into two subclasses: 1. The South American leech. Subclass ERRANTIA They are free swimming or crawling worms in which body possesses numerous. Parapodia are reduced. Prostomium without sensory structures but has tentacles and palps or other feeding structures. with an eversible pharynx having jaws or teeth. Some polychaetes are free swimming pelagic forms. Each body segment has a pair of locomotory organs called parapodia that bear many bristles called chetae. with or without modified setae. Serpula. crawling.000 species. 2. while others are sedentary. Ex. Nereis. Acron is divided into prostomium and peristomeum and the posterior terminal segment is called pygidium. Body bears segmentally arranged setae or chetae. Aphrodite. Glycera. can reach more than 40 cm in length. Amphitrite. There is a definite head. Subclass SEDENTARIA They are tube dwelling worms that display a high degree of segmental differentiation. They have about 8.

Generally live in muddy tubes.g. Acanthobdella. They are hermaphrodite and there is no larval stage. Lumbricus. Order ARCHIOLIGOCHAETA (=TUBIFICIDA) Freshwater forms with worm-like body and setae present in bundles. without distinct segmentation. Ex. Dero. 2. They are worms without a distinct head and parapodia or suckers. Pharynx is not eversible. Eudrilus. 4. Class ARCHIANNELIDA They are primitive marine worms. Ex. Suckers are present for attachment and locomotion. Nais. Parasitic on salmons. Ex. Common cattle leeches. parapodia and setae. Ex. They are hermaphrodite and deposit their eggs in cocoons. . Hirudo.000 species. There are about 10. Order GNATHOBDELLIDA. Locomotion is by small setae and burrowing by coelomic hydraulic skeleton. Order PHARYNGOBDELLIDA. There are 4 orders as follows: 1. Pheretima. Enchytraeus. Tubifex. Anus is terminal. Dinophilus. e. 3. megascolides. Erpobdella. Agriodrilus and Phagodrilus. Stylaria. Order RHYNCHOBDELLIDA. Ex. 1. There are 2 or 3 tentacles on prostomium. Chaetogaster. Aelosoma. Order ACANTHOBDELLIDA. Most of them are mud ingesting and detritus feeders but few are predaceous. Pontobdella. Minute setae are used in peristaltic locomotion and hydraulic skeleton is used for burrowing in mud. Nerilla. Order NEOLIGOCHAETA (=HAPLOTAXIDA) Commonly known as earthworms. Ex. Class HIRUDINEA They are ectoparasites of vertebrates having definite number of segments and annuli on each segment and without parapodia. Moniligaster. Protodrilus. Larva is a typical trochophore. Eye spots may be present. they are terrestrial worms with well developed gizzard and without eye th spots. Terrestrial predatory leeches. There are two orders under class Oligochaeta. Gizzard is poorly developed. There is a clitellum which produces a cocoon during breeding season. Aquatic leeches. Polygordius. 2. Clitellum well developed and female genital opening on the 14 segment. Ex. Hirudinaria.