Animal Life
Animal Health
Science Experiments

What are planaria?

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05/14/2009

* lanaria belong to the phylum, Platyhelminthes, (flatworms). * They are a free-living, flat bodied, freshwater creatures that exhibit the remarkable ability *

to regenerate their lost body parts. * It lives in lakes, streams, ponds, and other freshwater bodies * The planarian is non-parasitic, and eats decaying meat. * The body includes: *

a simple nervous system that includes a 'brain'

muscle bundles

an internal reproductive system

a blind gut branching through the body

an excretory system that includes specialized cells called 'flame cells' * They can be conditioned to respond to stimuli, display the ability to master a two-choice maze, *

and can transfer the memory of training from one individual to another. Use only 'spring water' or 'pond water', not distilled water ( it doesn't contain any of the minerals and nutrients they need to survive) or tap water (the chlorine or flouride etc. that's in tap water will kill them) Feed them little bits of hard cooked 'egg yolk' every few days - to a week at most. Some varieties will eat liver or tubifex worms, but that's very smelly and messy. Don't feed them at all during their mating season during February-March. After you feed them (let them eat for about 30 minutes - 1 hour at most) make sure you change their water (rinse them off carefully) and add fresh water. This prevents any uneaten food from decaying and dirtying the culture. They also create a 'slime' that needs to be removed. Keep them at a reasonable room temperature (68-72 degrees). Do not refidgerate them. Do not expose them to harsh light. In fact, keep them in the dark for most of the time; maybe in the container they came in with a lid (loosley closed) and store it in a closed cupboard. They are sensitive to extremes of light, temperature, and ph. Being such sensitive creatures, when you begin your experiments, any changes you may make in their environment should be the smallest that you can measure.

The link i used: http://www.planarians.org/ by:Jonathan © 1996-2006