This article is about some topics on the ecology and physiology of leeches that are of general interest and that can be tackled in advanced school or college laboratory classes. The physiology is mainly concerned with the acquisition and utilization of resources by leeches and this is considered, together with their ecology, under the integrating umbrella of adaptational biology. We believe that it is important for students to consider not only how animals function but why they have become adapted in a particular way, because this requires that they relate their observations to what animals do in nature.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The original data referred to in this article have been collected in a research programme supported by the Natural Environmental Research Council (GR 3/3150).