Superphylum Lophotrochozoa: Flatworms, Rotifers, and Nemerteans

Free Response

How does the tapeworm body plan support widespread dissemination of the parasite?

Hint:

The tapeworm bodies are made of a series of small subunits called proglottids. Each proglottid contains a sexually mature reproductive system that can cross-fertilize within a single tapeworm. Proglottids containing fertilized eggs break off the tapeworm, and are transported to the environment to find a new host. Thus, each segment of a tapeworm’s body is capable of infecting new hosts.