Adaptation of Flatworm, Roundworm Parasitic, Zoology Help

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The flatworms are morphologically and physiologically adapted to the parasitic and free living forms.

Morphological adaptations-

1. Locomotory organs are reduced except in larval forms which are free living.

2. Alimentary canal is reduced but absent in taenia. Taenia absorbs the food through general body surface.

3. Protection from digested juice if flatworms are intestinal parasites such as taenia and fluke larvae. They are provided with thick cuticle covering and thus become resistant.

4. Apparatus of attachment or adhesive: Acetabulam or sucking cups are present in all flatworms. In taenia and roundworm hooks are accessory attachment apparatus. In both rostellum is also present for attachment. Unicellular secretory glands in miracidium and cercaria larvae secrete the lytic substance to penetrate the host tissue. Cystogenous unicellular glands in termatode larvae for the formation of cyst.

5. Reproductive organs most significantly developed for the parasitic life. Internal body is mostly occupied by the gonads.

Flatworms are mostly hermaphrodite with few exceptions. Ovary is branched for the production of large number of eggs.

6. Self fertilization is common than cross.

Body of the flatworm is provided with about 900 segments. Each segment is representing an animal known as proglottid.

Physiological adaptations-

1. Respiration is anaerobic

2. Secrete anti-enzymes for the protection of their body (in case of intestinal parasites).

3. Reduction of pathogenicity and parasite tries to maintain a sort of equilibrium.

4. Roundworms have well developed water osmoregulatory system for controlling the water quantity in the body.

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