An Elaboration on Earthworms

Circulation made Simple

Benjamin Schwierking

Ballistic Biologist

Ms. Mitcham

Pre-AP Biology

6th Period

An Ornate Overview

The common earthworms, or lumbricus terrestris, belongs to the Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Annelida, Class Oligochaeta, and Order Megadrilacea. Earthworms have segments called annuli that are covered in hairs called setae that help the earthworm move. During the day, earthworms usually are underground burrowing. During the night, however, earthworms come up to the surface to mate and eat, hence they are often called nightcrawlers. Earthworms are found throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Earthworms are herbivores and are eaten by rats, birds, and toads.

The Oncoming Objective

Students will learn about the internal and external anatomy of an earthworm, with a special emphasis on the circulatory system. Students will also learn an earthworm's ecological role.

Docile Dissection

Cardiovascular Circulation

Earthworms have a closed circulatory system. The earthworm has two main blood vessels: the dorsal vessel and the ventral vessel. Blood moves towards the anterior end through the ventral vessel and towards the posterior end through the dorsal vessel. The earthworm also has five lateral hearts that circulate around the esophagus. The video shows blood traveling through the earthworm.
Circulation Worm

Revolutionary Evolutionary Relationships

Handy Human Impact

Earthworms are useful for nature and humans, which is why earthworms are not usually considered invasive even though they are not native to North America. Earthworms loosen soil by consuming it and mucus on their body contains nitrogen. They are beneficial for agriculture and gardens. Earthworms are also used as bait for fishing.

Feasibly Fun Facts

  • If a worm is cut in half, two will not grow, but they can replace lost segments.
  • Earthworms are hermaphroditic- they have both male and female reproductive parts.
  • The largest earthworm found was 22 feet long.
  • Earthworms have no eyes, but can sense the presence of light.
  • Earthworms are native to Europe.
  • In one acre of land, there can be more than a million earthworms.
  • Earthworms become paralyzed after an hour of sunlight.
  • Earthworms eat their weight in food every day.
  • The mucus on earthworms contains nitrogen which is good for plants.
  • Charles Darwin spent 39 years studying earthworms.

Wonderful Works Cited


"Common Earthworm." Common Earthworm. National Geographic, n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2014.

"Earthworms." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Jan. 2014. Web. 09 Apr. 2014.

"Worm Facts." Worm Facts. Illinois University, n.d. Web. 09 Apr. 2014


Earthworm. Digital image. Earthworm Ecology. Earthworm Society of Britain, n.d. Web. 9 Apr. 2014.

Earthworm in dirt. Digital image. Decomposers. St. John Fisher College, n.d. Web. 9 Apr. 2014.

Earthworm Jim. Digital image. Earthworm Jim. Giant Bomb, n.d. Web. 9 Apr. 2014

Evolutionary Relationships. Digital image. Flatworms, Mollusks, and Annelids. Clinton Community College, n.d. Web. 9 Apr. 2014.

Kalman, Bobbie. Earthworm Life Cycle. Digital image. Story: Earthworms. TEARA, 2004. Web. 9 Apr. 2014.

MSN. Earthworm. Digital image. Worms. NBC, n.d. Web. 9 Apr. 2014.

Yale University. Earthworm Phylogeny. Digital image. Tree of Life. Peabody Museum of Natural Science, n.d. Web. 9 Apr. 2014.


Dial, Ken. Circulation Worm. N.p.: Vimeo, 2013. Video