Common Name: Moniezia benedini
Scientific Name: Moniezia benedini
Species: M. benedini
Its body can reach up to 8.2–13 ft (2.5–4 m) long and 0.99–1.0 in (25–26 mm) wide. Its Scolex has four suckers. When the tapeworm is alive it is a pinkish brownish color, but when the tapeworm is dead and dehydrated it turns to a pale white. The tapeworm lives in either humans or animals. It lives in the human or animals stomach and feeds on what the human or animal eats. The tapeworm has a long tape-like body. Its head has four suckers which attach to the stomach of its host. The tapeworm lives inside of its host’s body for most of their life. Tapeworms are sometimes used as a diet substitute. When the host eats food the tapeworm eats most of the food digested by its host, so in time the host gets skinnier and skinnier. Tapeworms are mostly found inside a human or an animal’s body. Mostly 30 people get infected by a tapeworm every year but with new technology, a scientist was able to make a kind of medicine to kill tapeworms that are feeding inside a human’s body.
A scientist cannot determine how many tapeworms are in this whole world but the populations of tapeworms are shrinking every year thanks to medical science. They have found a treatment to control tapeworms for anyone who has been infected. How tapeworms get inside a host’s digestive system is that a tapeworm segment breaks, releasing eggs. The eggs of the tapeworm are eaten by an animal and it eventually hatches inside the host’s digestive system. The tapeworm attaches to the walls of the host’s stomach. The tapeworm has no competition for getting food because it lives inside a human or animal body. Whatever the hosts eat the tapeworm eats as well. Tapeworms can be eaten by any living thing: Like cows, fleas and dogs, cats, and humans.
But what’s so extraordinary about it Is that the tapeworm egg or larvae don’t dissolve in the stomach of the host's body. It actually holds on to the stomach walls of a host body by using its four suckers, then the tapeworm eventually grows and feasts on the digested food that the hosts eat. Tapeworms are really gross, well to me they are. Because thinking of a worm inside my digestive system sounds really disturbing. But I have noticed that a lot of people who want to lose weight eat the tapeworm larvae. To me, it sounds gross because a tapeworm can grow up to 10 feet long or even longer.
At first, it looks like a tapeworm doesn’t have a head but it does. It has four suckers too. The tapeworm is both a female and a male so its easy for them to reproduce. The slender tape-like body of the tapeworm is actually eggs or larvae segments that break off releasing it out of the host body.
Author: Victoria H
Sources: http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Moniezia http://www.springerlink.com/content/f535643k12738116/ http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/classification/ Moniezia_benedeni.html