"What's this thing
look like, so I'll be ready?" It looks like this. See the ridges? Like all bloodsucking leeches, it's got 34 segments, each of which has its own brain (or ganglia). Thirty-four brains—not bad for a slimy little worm, eh? In fact, leeches are related to earthworms, and they are slimy. When it's annoyed, Mark says, H. ghilianii, for instance, produces a gooey mucous in hopes of slipping away. See how it's fatter at one end than the other? That's the hind end, with its powerful sucker; the head is at the narrower tip. When the leech is in your hand, Mark says you can feel its muscles. Those muscles ripple with undulatory waves as it feeds, probably to help ferry ingested blood into its digestive tract. By the way, this is just a youngster. You'd hardly call this a giant leech, would you?