Gas exchange in Annelids

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  • Gas Exchange in Annelids
    • Elongated body shape increases SA:Vol ratio
    • Live in damp areas and secrete mucus to ensure their skin remains moist
    • A well developed capillary network close to the surface area of the skin provides a short diffusion pathway
    • Their blood contains haemoglobin which has a high affinity for oxygen which increases the efficiency of gas exchange
    • Earth worms have a low metabolic rate as they are slow moving, so their demand for oxygen is low
    • Flatworms
      • Aquatic animals which have evolved a flattened shape
      • Have adapted to gas exchange in the following ways;
        • Increased surface area:volume ratio by having flattened bodies
        • Short diffusion pathway (body is only 0.2mm thick)
        • Low demand for gas exchange due to their sedentary lifestyle


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