Sunday, July 26, 2020

Fascinating Creatures

I brushed up against one of these on the water whilst swimming yesterday, and although I knew what it was, I still shrieked! It's a group of invertebrate animals living together in a jellylike community. They're filter feeders and keep our waters clean, so are good to have.

And then, a Haiku arrived in my head:

Bulbous and slimy,

Jelly-like Bryozoans -

Colonies of life.

Ok, that's not all. Today, as I reached down to pick up a beautifully patterned stone, the 'covering' lifted up and elongated itself into what looked like a 'sucker fish,' with one end still attached to the stone. I put it into a bucket to photograph the lovely pattern on its back. It's the Smooth Turtle Leech (Placobdella parasitica), native to these parts, and feeds on Snapping Turtles. It's nothing to be afraid of, it's just a worm that has 32 "brains" one on each segment - pretty neat.


The thin, narrow bit wavering around in the second photo is the head end, where the mouthparts are that attach to prey.

When I read on, I saw that some leeches are being used in arthritis treatment, by attaching them to the specific area of pain and swelling. Hmm ...

"Remember, the attitude you display towards living things affects other people around you. Over-reacting to icky creatures imposes these attitudes on future generations. So, please, just relax, pick off the leech and flick it back into the water. Live and let live."


Georgette said...

Love all your pictures and actually these unusual critters look very beautiful! (Well maybe more like interesting.) Still, I shudder! You are a better woman than I! G

Deb said...

Glad you could also appreciate their beauty, Georgette, even if only from a distance.