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Turbellarians: Turbellaria

Diet

Most turbellarians are predators or scavengers that feed on anything they can fit into their mouths, such as protozoans, crustaceans, worms, and mollusks. Protozoans (proh-tuh-ZOH-uhns) are one-celled living things that resemble animals in that they gets their food from their surroundings rather than making it themselves as plants do. Crustaceans (krus-TAY-shuns) are water-dwelling animals that have jointed legs and a hard shell but no backbone. Mollusks (MAH-lusks) are animals with soft, unsegmented bodies that may or may not have a shell.

Some turbellarians eat only certain foods, such as sponges, barnacles, or sea squirts. A few are close to being parasites because they graze on their live hosts. Land turbellarians feed on earthworms and snails. A few species of turbellarians have a relationship with the algae that live in them in which the algae supply the worm with carbohydrates and fats and the worm supplies the algae with nitrogen waste products and a safe haven.


Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceJellyfish, Sponges, and Other Simple AnimalsTurbellarians: Turbellaria - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Freshwater Planarian (dugesia Tigrina): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, TURBELLARIANS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS