Copyright

Platyhelminthes: Definition, Characteristics & Examples

Platyhelminthes: Definition, Characteristics & Examples
Coming up next: The Circulatory System of Platyhelminthes

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:00 Platyhelminthes: A Big…
  • 0:35 General…
  • 1:24 Examples of Platyhelminthes
  • 2:53 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Ebony Potts

Ebony has taught middle and high school physical science, life science & biology. She's also been an assistant principal and has a doctorate in educational administration.

What is Platyhelminthes? In this lesson, you will learn about this phylum as well as some interesting interesting characteristics of Platyhelminthes organisms. You can read about some example organisms before taking a brief quiz.

Platyhelminthes: A Big Word for Flatworms

Let's say you're on a trip at the nature center. As you and your friends explore, you come across a big tank with many ocean organisms inside. You see what looks like a colorful piece of paper moving along slowly at the bottom of the tank. 'What is that?' You ask your guide Marlon.

Marlon tells you that the creature is a flatworm, a member of the phylum Platyhelminthes. 'Wow,' You say. 'What a weird looking animal!' Marlon goes on to explain that this little guy and his relatives are the stars of a new exhibit dedicated to the phylum as he leads you through your exploration of the Platyhelminthes exhibit.

General Characteristics of Platyhelminthes

Platyhelminthes is a very interesting phylum that contains nearly 20,000 species. These organisms are generally hermaphrodites, meaning they can have both male and female sexual organs and can produce offspring on their own. They're also soft-bodied invertebrates (they have no spine), and much like humans, flatworms have bilateral symmetry, which means that if you drew a vertical line down the middle of the animal, the left side of the organism would mirror the right side.

Most flatworms also do not have a body cavity! This means most flatworms really don't have anything inside but a small gut, and some don't even have that. They have a small opening through which they take in food and use the same opening to expel waste. Lastly, Platyhelminthes species range in size from microscopic to a few feet long, and they breathe across the whole body!

Examples of Platyhelminthes

As you go deeper into the nature center's Platyhelminthes exhibit, you see four different areas, each dedicated to the four classes of flatworms:

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support