Video Provides First Evidence of Jumping Leeches

Posted on July 4, 2024

Researchers have shared a video that provides the first evidence that a leech species can jump. The species in the video is Chtonobdella fallax from Madagascar.

The leech coils back before making a jump. The researchers say this is similar to a "backbending cobra or a spring being pulled back to maximize potential energy.

Lead author Mai Fahmy, a visiting scientist at the Museum and a postdoctoral researcher at Fordham University, says in the announcement, "We believe this is the first convincing evidence that leeches can jump and do so with visible energy expenditure. There have been previous accounts of leeches jumping, including onto people, but those reports were often explained away as leeches just attaching to passerby as they brushed against shrubs or dropping from a branch above. This study dispels that argument."

The research was published in the journal, Biotropica

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