Roundworms - Structure and Ecology Print Friendly and PDF

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Kingdom Animalia - Phylum Nematoda

Nematodes are a diverse group of roundworms that exist in nearly every environment on Earth. They can be found in soil, water, and even as parasites in plants and animals.

While some nematodes are free-living and contribute positively to ecosystems by aiding in nutrient recycling and controlling other organisms like bacteria, others are parasitic. Parasitic nematodes can infect plants, animals, and even humans, causing diseases and various health issues.

Nematodes have a simple body structure with a complete digestive system and a nervous system, but they lack circulatory and respiratory systems.

Roundworms & Disease

Trichinosis (trichinella worm)
- cysts within the muscles are consumed (undercooked food)
-- worm grows in intestine
-- forms cysts in the muscles of the new host
-- symptom: terrible pain in muscles

Filarial Worms - found in Tropical regions of Asia
-- usually transmitted by mosquitoes
-- causes elephantiasis

Ascarid Worms (common roundworm)
- lives in intestine
- eggs are passed out in the feces


- burrow into the skin from soil
- mature in the intestines
--hooks used to attach and suck blood

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