DissectMe: The Earthworm

Amber Keating 1st prd Earthworm Dissection- PAP Bio Mrs. Vu

A little bit about The Earthworm

  • Lumbricus terrestris, otherwise known as The Earthworm, is a member of the prestigious phylum Annelida.
  • The Earthworm has a long career of decomposing via sucking the soil in its path into its mouth with the aid of its muscular pharynx.
  • The Earthworm is well adapted to a life burrowing away in the dirt and soil.
  • The Earthworm has mucus coating his body allowing oxygen to pass through his skin while it is in the air or underwater.
  • This system of mucus on the syn and oxygen passage is The Earthworm's only method of respiration.
  • The Earthworm is a hermaphrodite, meaning that it has both testes and ovaries present so both sperm and eggs are produced.
  • The Earthworm can only grow so long, Lumbricus terrestris only maxing from 90-300 millimeters.



The Earthworm likes company, sometimes he can live with more than a million other earthworms in one acre of land.


Objectives of This Review

We will be explaining the observations made while dissecting The Earthworm's external and internal structure.

Background Information



  • The family of Lumbricus terrestris can live to be around 10 years old.


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A Look at The Earthworm's Digestive System

The earthworm’s digestive system consists of the mouth, pharynx (a muscular tube that expands, drawing soil and food into the mouth), esophagus, crop (where food and other material is stored), gizzard (where the contents get ground up into smaller bits for easier digestion), intestine (where most digestion of food takes place), rectum (another short tube) and anus (where the last of the contents of the digestive system are deposited as castings behind the worm as it proceeds through the soil). Besides being a site for digestion, the intestine is where most of the products of digestion pass out of the digestive tract (through the wall of the intestine) on their way to blood vessels for distribution to the rest of the body. The intestine has a long fold (named the typhlosole) that increases the surface area of the intestine, enhancing the release of digestive products.