any parasitic or free-living invertebrate of the phylum Platyhelminthes, including planarians, flukes, and tapeworms, having a flattened body with no circulatory system and only one opening to the intestine
Any of various parasitic and nonparasitic worms of the phylum Platyhelminthes, characteristically having a soft, flat, bilaterally symmetrical body. Flatworms lack a coelom (body cavity), respiratory system, and circulatory system, but are the most primitive invertebrates to have a brain. The evolutionary history of flatworms is uncertain, but they share some basic characteristics with rotifers, nematodes, and a few other invertebrate phyla. Cestodes (tapeworms), planarians, and trematodes (flukes) are flatworms.