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Fact file

Annelids Proper name: Phylum Annelida (ann-el-ee-dah)
Examples: Earthworms, leeches and bristleworms

Numbers of species: About 19,000
Where they are found: In the oceans, in freshwater and on land

Description: Annelids are worms with segmented bodies. Earthworms and leeches have smooth bodies and live on land or in freshwater. Bristleworms mainly live in the sea, they are covered in hairs and often have tentacles which they use to catch food from the water around them.

Need to know: Leeches were once used in medicine when doctors thought that they could be used to draw poisons from the bodies of the sick.

Find out more about earthworms
Find out more about bristleworms (polychaetes)

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