Journey to the Center of the Earth


Sydney Merritt - Period 4 - Guzman

Lumbricus terrestrius

Also known as the common earthworm, the Lumbricus terrestrius is indigenous to Europe, but can be found across the Northern Hemisphere. This species has adapted to burrowing through soil, developing haired annuli that aide movement. The secretions left behind as an earthworm traverses through soil are known as castings. The classification of the earthworm is as follows: Animalia, Annelida, Clitellata, Haplotoxida, Lumricidae, Lumbicus, terrestrius.


Students will be able to recognize the earthworm and its role in the environment.

Students will be able to understand the functionality of the earthworm digestive system.

Students will be able to describe the external and internal anatomy of the earthworm.

Dissection of the Earhtworm

External Anatomy

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Internal Anatomy

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Video of Dissection

Earthworm Anatomy

The Digestive System

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An Overview

As soil is digested by the earthworm, the soil first passes through the mouth to the pharynx, then esophagus, crop, gizzard, intestine and anus, where it is excreted. The crop acts as a tooth-like organ where ingested stones grind the swallowed materials. The purpose of the digestive system is to extract nutrients from soil and supply this food to the earthworm. Without the digestive system, other systems would not function as no energy gained from food would be present. The digestive system works alongside the muscular system that pushes soil through the tract.
NEET BIO - Animal tissue, alimentary canal of earthworm

Did you Know...?

  • Worms can live to be up to 6 years old.
  • The largest earthworm ever found was 22 feet long (in South Africa).
  • The secretion, Slime, contains Nitrogen.
  • Earthworms do not have eyes.
  • Worms are hermaphrodites and can only mate on the surface.