How Do Leeches Suck Blood?


2 Answers

Kath Senior Profile
Kath Senior answered
A blood sucking leech attaches itself to the skin of its victim using its suckers. It makes a small wound in the surface of its hosts skin using three serrated jaws just inside its mouth. It then releases saliva into the wound, which contains the anti-clotting agent called hirudin. This keeps the blood flowing freely. The saliva also contains a substance that blocks nerve transmission from the pain sensors in the skin, so that the victim does not notice its bites.

In most cases, leeches are relatively harmless and do not introduce infection. Their bite can become infected later if it is not kept clean, but the leech bite does not cause too many problems. The only exception to this is if the victim is unlucky enough to have a leech bite into the mucous membranes inside the nose or in the mouth, as the host animal can then suffocate.
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Anonymous commented
OMG, I just heard on DishNation less than 30mins ago about a woman who was traveling in Asia found out she had a 3inch leech up her nose for 1 month! It was somewhat dormant, as it laid in her nostril curled into a ball. She mentions that occasionally, she could feel its tail slithering around on the inside of her eyebrows O_o... My goodness, when you said
"bite into... the nose," I was fearful for her, and feeling her fortunate aspect that she was lucky enough it didn't do anything else inside her nose.
Hannah Stark Profile
Hannah Stark answered
Leaches suck blood because the have little teeth the bite you and then they just start sucking.

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