How many of you like animals? Anywho, I figured I'd make a thread about some of the cool stuff I learn about animals. It's a good idea because I'll telling someone about the stuff I'm learning, which will help me remember it! Mmkay. Starting with tapeworms: Alright. Tapeworms are nasty little suckers. They have 3 parts to their body. 1. The tip (its head), which has suckers on it. Tapeworms also have a series of small hooks on their tips. 2. The neck, which is right below the tip. 3. The bottom half (or so) of the worm, where each little piece of the worm from that point on is basically a mature baby-making station ready to drop its eggs into its host's body! But what does that matter to you? Well, having a tapeworm inside you isn't pleasant. Here's why: If you have a tapeworm inside you, the only way it can stay in your body is if it uses the suckers and hooks on its head to grab on firmly to the inside of your intestines! It just hooks right into your intestines! Once the head is hooked onto the inside of your intestines, it starts sprouting off little square body links beneath it. All the new body links sprout off from the tip, and push the older parts down. This means that you can't kill a tapeworm unless you kill its head. If you cut a tapeworm right in half, new pieces will keep growing from under its head! What's really amazing about these worms is how great they are at being parasites. First of all, they don't have stomachs, intestines, or any other kind of digestive system. They absorb everything you eat right through their skin! This means that if you have a 2-yard-long worm inside of you (and they can be over 20 yards long!), every bit of the outside of that 2-yard worm is sucking food right out of your intestines! They're great at making babies too. Every single bit of the worm, except the tip, is devoted to reproduction. Tapeworms are both male and female at the same time, so a tapeworm can reproduce with itself to make more tapeworms, and make your life a living nightmare! Almost every little square (called a proglottid) you see in the diagram is a baby-making station, complete with a uterus, vagina, ovary, testes, sperm ducts, and a genital pore to release eggs and sperm into its host! The proglottids at the very end of the worm (the farthest away from the tip) are said to be "pregnant" because they are very, very, very ready to release their baby worms! But just how many eggs can a single tapeworm make? It depends on how long the worm is! There is one type of tapeworm that has about 80,000 eggs per proglottid! That worm's boring scientific name is Taeniarhynchus saginattus (try saying that!). It's also known as the "beef tapeworm" (that's a lot easier to say!). One of the tapeworms that makes the most babies is the broad fish tapeworm, which can shed up to 1 million eggs a day. Fortunately for humans, we'd have to eat badly cooked, infected meat to get a tapeworm inside us. But in case that happens, there are medicines out there that attack the tapeworm where it hurts most - its head. So, did ya read the whole thing, was it interesting, should I continue this thread, and should I go back to studying now?