Beneath the epidermis the turbellarians is a homogeneous or lamellated basal membrane. Club-shaped mesenchymal gland cells, opened externally, usually are present in every flatworms. In turbellarians two significant types that mesenchymal glands occur: one produce a slimy material upon i beg your pardon the organisms creep; the various other secretes one adhesive problem for catch of prey, because that adhesion, and also for cementing egg capsules to a an ideal surface. The larvae that parasitic creates generally possess similar glands who secretions are provided for adhesion, for creating cyst walls around resting stages, and for penetrating hosts; part adult parasites have glands because that adhesion and, in trematodes, because that softening and also digesting hold tissues.

You are watching: Which body part does a flatworm first use to catch its prey

The mesenchyme is composed of fixed and complimentary cells as well as a fibrous matrix. A fluid occupies the minute open up spaces and also serves for circulation of nutrients and wastes. The mesenchymal cell in particular groups may identify during development to become sex cell or may function in asexual reproduction in repair or in regeneration.

Flatworms have no devoted respiratory system; gases just diffuse throughout the body wall.

Nervous system

The key ganglia, or nerve centres, that the nervous system and also the major sense organs space generally focused at the anterior end. Typically, the primitive brain of the flatworm consists of a bilobed fixed of tissue with lateral longitudinal nerve cords associated by transverse connectives, thus creating a rather ladderlike framework or grid to run the greater length the the organism. Free-living forms typically have two longitudinal cords, but some tapeworms have actually as numerous as 10. Sensory receptors occur in all groups.


The well-developed muscular system current in flatworms is consisted of of a subcuticular musculature consist of of class of circular, longitudinal, and diagonal muscles close to the epidermis, and also a mesenchymal musculature consists of dorsoventral, transverse, and longitudinal fibres passing v the mesenchyme. In general, platyhelminths are qualified of comprehensive body contraction and elongation.

Digestive and excretory systems

The blind-ending intestine the trematodes consists of a straightforward sac through an anterior or midventral mouth or a two-branched gut through an anterior mouth; one anus is typically lacking, however a couple of species have one or two anal pores. In between the mouth and also the intestine are regularly a pharynx and an esophagus receiving secretions from glands therein. The intestine proper, lined with digestive and also absorptive cells, is surrounding by a slim layer of muscles that impact peristalsis; i.e., castle contract in a wavelike fashion, forcing product down the length of the intestine. In plenty of larger flukes lateral minister branches, or diverticula, carry food close come all inner tissues. Undigested residue passes ago out of the mouth.

Cestodes have actually no digestive tract; they absorb nutrients from the host across the body wall. Most other flatworms, however, have actually conspicuous cradle systems. The digestive system of turbellarians typically consists of mouth, pharynx, and intestine. In the bespeak Acoela, however, just a mouth is present; food passes straight from the mouth into the parenchyma, to be took in by the mesenchymal cells.

The excretory system is composed of protonephridia. These room branching canals ending in so-called fire cells—hollow cells with bundles the constantly moving cilia.


Free-living forms

Free-living platyhelminths (class Turbellaria), mostly carnivorous, are particularly adapted because that the capture of prey. Their encounters with prey appear to be mainly fortuitous, except in some varieties that relax ensnaring rubber threads. Due to the fact that they have occurred various complex feeding mechanisms, most turbellarians space able to feed on biology much bigger than themselves, such together annelids, arthropods, mollusks, and tunicates (e.g., sea squirts). In general, the feeding mechanism requires the pharynx which, in the most highly occurred forms, is a powerful muscular body organ that can be protruded v the mouth. Flatworms v a an easy ciliated pharynx are minimal to feeding on tiny organisms such together protozoans and rotifers, yet those through a muscular pharynx can turn the outward, thrust it with the tegument the annelids and crustaceans, and also draw the end their internal body organs and also fluids. Turbellarians through a more advanced kind of pharynx can extend it over the recorded prey till the animal is totally enveloped.

Digestion is both extracellular and also intracellular. Digestive enzyme (biological catalysts), i m sorry mix v the food in the gut, reduce the size of the food particles. This partially digested material is climate engulfed (phagocytized) by cell or absorbed; digestion is then completed in ~ the gut cells.

Parasitic forms

In the parasitic groups with a gut (Trematoda and Monogenea), both extracellular and also intracellular digestion occur. The level to which these processes take place depends ~ above the nature of the food. When fragments of the host’s food or tissues various other than fluids or semifluids (e.g., blood and mucus) space taken as nutrient by the parasite, digestion appears to be mostly extracellular. In those that feed ~ above blood, digestion is mainly intracellular, frequently resulting in the deposition the hematin, one insoluble pigment developed from the failure of hemoglobin. This colors is eventually extruded through disintegrating gut cells.

See more: Which Statements Are True Regarding Scientific Evidence Supporting The Big Bang Theory?

Despite the existence of a gut, trematodes it seems to be ~ able come absorb glucose and specific other materials through the metabolically energetic tegument spanning the human body surface. Tapeworms, which have no gut, absorb every nutrients v the tegument. Amino mountain (the structural systems of proteins) and small molecules that carbohydrate (e.g., sugars) cross the tegument by a system called active transport, in i beg your pardon molecules space taken up versus a concentration gradient. This process, comparable to that in the vertebrate gut, requires the expenditure that energy. Cestodes may also be able come digest materials in call with the tegument by means of so-called membrane digestion, a little-understood process.