ALL ABOUT EARTHWORMS.
Everything You Didn't Know You Wanted to Know About Worms
HAPPY SPRING! (ISH)
It's warm! Kind of.
By 'sludge', I mean that half-thawed, half-sopping wet squishy dirt in the gardens that is just begging for rubber boots. It's still a little too cold here for our Keating Creature today, but I'm going to fast forward a little bit so we can talk about EARTHWORMS.
Because earthworms are great. You heard it here first, folks.
Note: Earthworms don't actually have smiles. Or eyeballs. This is pretty much the least realistic photo of one you'll ever see.
EARTHWORM FACT #1
Earthworms are underrated.
But wise creature adventurers know the truth: this world wouldn't be the same without earthworms! In fact, our planet would look a lot less beautiful without earthworms, and a lot more garbage-dumpy. Nobody likes a garbage dump.
Here are just a handful of cool things earthworms do:
- They break up the dirt so nutrients and water can get into plants (in other words, plants can't live without earthworms)
- They eat pests like bacteria and microbes, so good bacteria can thrive in the soil (this stops bad stuff from taking over the forest/garden)
- Their wee tunnels create the perfect pathways for water to flow (I just wanted to say 'wee tunnels' there. But really, worm pathways are like water highways in the soil!)
EARTHWORM FACT #2
Earthworms poop. A LOT.
Earthworm poop (also known as castings) is full of nutrients. It's much more nutrient-rich than the soil the worm initially ate! This poop is perfect for surrounding and feeding plants and helps them thrive, including the fruits and vegetables you like to eat. Without worms, our gardens and farms would suffer, and so would our dinner plates. Scientists have even discovered that worms can help make farmland over 30% more productive. That's a lot of food.
EARTHWORM FACT #3
Worms are a HUGE part of the food web.
It's a worm's life...
So. Many. Worms.
In every acre of land, there can be a MILLION earthworms. Count 'em!
If you see a slimy worm, that means it's healthy! Earthworms will die if their skin dries out.
This is what earthworm EGGS look like!
Tell me more about EARTHWORM POOP
Well, since you asked...
Want some more earthworm tidbits? OF COURSE YOU DO.
- The largest earthworm in the world lives in Australia and grows to be TWELVE FEET LONG. Whaaaat?!
- Earthworms don't have eyes, but they can sense light!
- Worms are hermaphrodites, which means they have both BOY and GIRL parts.
- It's very hard to see, but earthworms are covered in small bristles called SETAE. These bristles help scooch and burrow though the earthworm through the soil.
STILL THINK EARTHWORMS ARE GROSS?
Thanks for Reading!
Thanks for tuning in! If you have any suggestions for future Keating Creature Issues, drop me a line at the info below! Anything science or animal related is fair game!
- How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes are Untied, is now out from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky!
- How to Outswim a Shark Without a Snorkel, is out in January 2015! Click the link to add it to Goodreads!
- Pink is for Blobfish, from Knopf, coming in 2016