These parasitic flatworms infect pigs and humans and often live and grow in the digestive tract of said vertebrates. They typically grow to be around 10 feet in length. They attach themselves to the intestine of their host with the suckers on their scolex (head). Once attached, tapeworms absorb nutrients through its skin, common behavior of flatworms.
The suckers on the heads of tapeworms assist in their attaching to a host. It is the most distinctive part of an adult tapeworm but is often unnoticed when in use. this is why the identification of eggs is vital to diagnosis. Some tapeworms have fours suction cups, others use hooks or tentacles to aid in attachment.
The body of a tapeworm is segmented, together these segments, or proglottids, resemble tape hence the name. these proglottids each contain their own organs and can reproduce independently. Some consider a tapeworm a colony of organisms rather than one organism. New proglottids are formed around the neck. The older proglottids get pushed to the end of the tail and fall off. These are visible in the hosts' feces and is one means of diagnosis.