1. Apikoros says

    Excuse me? Did he really say there are LAND-based leeches? Can someone tell me where to find them, so I can never ever ever ever go there?

  2. Wowbagger says

    I don’t know if these count as land-based, but in the tropical rainforests of Malaysia, the leeches lie in wait on the ground and on low vegetation for passing hikers, in such numbers that one quickly gives up trying to pick them off. After day of hiking my socks were soaked red.

  3. Torbjorn Larsson says

    I seem to remember a friend sharing similar but not as bad experiences from India.

  4. Harry Eagar says

    I remember. You asked for suggestions about where to get blood to feed them. What did you end up doing about that?

    (If the answer is, you stuck you arm in the tank, do not answer, please.)

  5. Tara Mobley says

    I’ve never seens them move, and leeches have always been a creature I knew about in the abstract, but the photo used in Carl Zimmer’s article looks very pretty. I swear that it has a red and black mottled coloring. It’s really easy to forget that many of the animals called “creepy-crawlies” are so beautiful and fascinating.

  6. Matt says

    I worked in a hospital pharmacy for several years in collage. We had leaches that we used to help draw the blood to re-attached body parts- for example, if you cut off your ear, and then get it sowed back on, we’d stick a few leaches on it to help the blood flow back in to the ear. We normally kept them in the refridgerator, which slowed them down and made them controlable. But, when I had to deliver them to a floor it was damned hard to keep them in the container once they warmed up. The only thing that was worse was when nurses tried to return used leaches to us via the pnumatic tube system, not knowing, I guess, that leaches are strictly single-use items.

  7. says

    When my mom was in nursing school (Orthopedic Clinic, Heidelberg, 1939), they regularly used leeches to get the circulation going in what was left of amputees’ limbs. As a nurse in a German field hospital during the war, the little buggers were a necessity and were guarded like the Fuehrer’s loot.

  8. outeast says

    (If the answer is, you stuck you arm in the tank, do not answer, please.)

    There’s been no answer. Draw your own conclusions:)

  9. Eric says

    Yeah, leeches really are beautiful, as long as you’re not in the water with them. They’re surprisingly graceful, and they shimmer as they move. Absolutely fascinating creatures.