UK

Giant Red Leech Slurps Down 70cm Blue Worm

30/09/2014 12:54 BST | Updated 30/09/2014 13:59 BST

Footage of a giant red leech swallowing a 70cm long blue worm is causing waves of wonder (and presumably disgust) across the world.

Shot as part of the forthcoming BBC2 series Wonders of the Monsoon, the clip reveals a predator so newly discovered it does not yet have an official taxonomic name.

To the tribes on Borneo’s Mount Kinabalu it is simply the ‘Giant Red Leech’.

giant red leech eats worm

Down the hatch: The leech makes short work of the worm

Of the leech’s initial exploratory movements up and down the body of the blue worm, documentary director Paul Williams told the Telegraph: “It was either searching for an end to grab, or was working out whether it was too big to eat.

“When it found an end it started to suck. It was incredible.”

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The leech makes short work of the worm, sucking it down like a strand of spaghetti. The specimen in the clip is believed to measure 50cm, though experts believe they could grow bigger.

Dr Mark Siddall of the American Museum of Natural History told I Fucking Love Science: “I think the BBC footage is terrific and I am eagerly looking forward to the Monsoon series.

“I have often wanted to see this in action for myself, the only existing video (from a related species in Japan) suggests they eat earthworms sideways, which never made sense to me.”

Sleep well.

Wonders of the Monsoon starts at 8pm on BBC2 on 5 October.

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