Leech is a Ducks’ Worst Night­mare

Science Illustrated - - NATURE/ HUNTING -

Leeches, which are com­mon in all wa­ter­holes and lakes, spe­cialise in suck­ing blood from larger an­i­mals. They bite a hole us­ing three sharp jaws placed in a tri­an­gle. Once they have gnawed a hole, they spit spe­cific sub­stances into the wound, which kill the pain, so the vic­tim does not re­al­ize that it has been at­tacked, and have an anti- co­ag­u­lat­ing ef­fect on the blood, which re­mains flow­ing out for as long as pos­si­ble.

One of the more hor­ri­fy­ing of the nu­mer­ous leech species is the duck leech, which spe­cialises in ducks. When a duck puts its head un­der the wa­ter, the leech swims in through its nos­trils or mouth, set­tling in the nasal cav­ity or the throat. Fi­nally, there may be so many leeches in the bird’s air­ways that it suf­fo­cates.

The duck leech swims into the nos­trils of ducks to feed on blood from the nose and throat.

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