Everything You Didn't Know You Wanted to Know About Worms


It's warm! Kind of.

So it's spring in the Great White North which means one thing: SLUDGE.

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.

Big image

Note: Earthworms don't actually have smiles. Or eyeballs. This is pretty much the least realistic photo of one you'll ever see.


Earthworms are underrated.

In a world full of cuddly koalas and fancypants peacocks, it's easy to overlook earthworms. They're slimy. They creep you out when you touch them. And they smell sort of like poop and old socks.

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!)


Earthworms poop. A LOT.

You've probably heard that earthworms fertilize the soil. This is true! But have you ever really THOUGHT about this? Do you like to eat?! Then you should definitely think about earthworms.

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.


Worms are a HUGE part of the food web.

They may be tiny, but worms are hugely important to the food web. Other creatures like birds, skunks, voles, mice, foxes, and even some larger predators ALL enjoy a nice meal of worms. Every animal depends on other animals to survive, and earthworms form the foundation of most food webs! THANKS, WORMS.
Big image

It's a worm's life...

Tell me more about EARTHWORM POOP

Well, since you asked...

Earthworms poop their a third of their own weight every single day! THINK ABOUT IT. (Or don't, because gross, right?) But now you know just how useful that poop is!

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.


Thanks for Reading!

I'm a zoologist turned children's book author!

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!

Book news!