Question

Researchers have identified a chemical in leeches that suppresses blood clotting. Why is this chemical important in leeches?

Solution

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The fluid that is secreted by the leeches contains an organic compound called hirudin. Hirudin prevents blood clotting by thinning out the blood or reducing its coagulation in the tissues. This allows the leeches to temporarily stop the clotting on the bitten area in order to get more blood.

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