After last Saturday's MAM meeting at the Delaware Museum of Natural History, Megan P. and I stopped by the museum's ongoing exhibition Attack of the Blood Suckers. Megan had heard that there were leeches.
We found the leeches in a large aquarium tank. In the dimly lit hall, they looked rather drab. But the flash of my camera revealed their true colors.
Here is another one that was mostly out of the water. Despite being aquatic creatures, leeches apparently do leave the water occasionally and voluntarily. Is this one a different species than the previous one?
According to the information panel below the tank, leeches don't have hearts. But they have an anus.
Leeches are, of course, sanguivorous; they feed on the blood of other animals. We left wondering what they were feeding the ones at the exhibit. There were lots of little kids around.
Note added 24 March 2010: I have now identified the leech in the photo as Hirudo verbana. See this post for details.