A shorter and made right description of sanguessuga is not selling of ambulance, nor absorb-blood, much less sticky vampire. The made right description shortest and is: barometer that it bites and already I go to explain why. Despite sanguessugas seems basically all equal ones, in the reality 650 known species exist that go more than since miniature until the 45 centimeters of length.
All sanguessugas are divided in 34 segments. E attention: each segment has its proper “brain”. The segment of the head contains a simple structure of two lobes, while the remain has a group of neurons called ganglion. However, although as much unfolding of brains, the truth is that sanguessugas does not have many neurons: only 15.000. The brain of a bee, for example, has 95,000).
Why we cannot call sanguessugas absorbs-sangues? Simply because few species absorb blood, despite all are carnivorous and despite the ones that absorb blood do not know what they are making: they eat during one followed hour and they increase between 5 and 10 times its original size.
When they finish with the satiated supper, sanguessugas costumam to leave as test of its mordisco a wound with form of Y. Ademais, the wounds bleed very, up to 10 hours, because the saliva of sanguessuga contains anaesthetic and hirudina, an anticoagulant. Stranger is that although everything, the bites of sanguessugas do not donate. In way that if some day to feel some of them grudada in its body, does not try to pull out it force (burning or playing salt), duly warned that it regurgitates and it provokes an infection; the best one measured is to wait that if sacie and frees by itself.
In 1799, the troops of Napoleão in Sinai had drunk water infested with sanguessugas that they had grasped themselves to the interior walls of the noses, mouths and the throats of the soldiers. Hundreds of them had died for asphyxia.
However, sanguessugas can pass up to 6 months without feeding itself.
In century XIX they were used with frequency in medicine to carry through bleedings. In they do not go, France more than imported 42 million them only during 1833. Therefore the species arrived at the side of the extinguishing. Currently also they are used in the alternative medicine in the units of burnt and aesthetic surgery to drain blood and for its anticoagulating properties.
Why sanguessugas can be defined as barometers? Because the change of the atmospheric pressure makes with that the water where they swim dissolves little oxygen very, what makes with that they are obliged to go up to the surface, functioning as well as a prognosticador of storms.
In fact, George Merryweather constructed one of these prophetic, one elaborated barometer with sanguessugas, that he was presented in the Great Exposition of London of 1851. The machine consisted of 12 bottles that contained water of rain and one sanguessuga. To the measure that a storm if approached, sanguessuga went up for the pass of the bottle and made a bell to sound. “Ding Dong, catches its umbrellas”.