|Photo of Tetrabothrius scolex (attachment organ)|
from this paper
For this study, the researchers collected at least one T. bassani from each gannet and took tissue samples from the bird's liver, kidney and pectoral muscle to measure the concentration of different heavy metals. They found that, on average, T. bassani accumulated twelve times as much cadmium as the gannet's pectoral muscles. Furthermore the tapeworms had seven to ten times more lead than the seabird's kidneys and liver. Since these worms seem to act like sponges that soak up and concentrate heavy metals, such substances would reach detectable level in the tapeworms well before they became noticeable in the host's own tissues. Because of that, these parasites can possibly serve as early warning indicators for the presence of pollutants in the environment.
Mendes, P., Eira, C., Vingada, J., Miquel, J., & Torres, J. (2013). The system Tetrabothrius bassani (Tetrabothriidae)/Morus bassanus (Sulidae) as a bioindicator of marine heavy metal pollution. Acta Parasitologica, 58: 21-25.