Exploring an Earthworm

Earthworm Dissection

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Each and Every Earthworm

Lumbrius terrestris, or the earthworm, is a member of the phylum Annelida. This means that its body is made up of many rings, which have hairs, setae, that assist with the worm's movement. It eats soil, as well as lives there, and extracts nutrients from decomposing organic matter. The soil and earthworm have somewhat of an symbiotic relationship because the worm is able to get nutrients (food) from the soil and transport them as well as make tunnels to keep the soil healthy. Earthworms are the decomposers of the ecosystem however, they're also prey for many animals such as birds, rats, and toads.

Evaluating the Earthworm

External Anatomy

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Internal Anatomy

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Taxonomy

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Adaptations

  • setae - provide a grip to allow movement through soil
  • streamline body and circular & logitudinal muscles - help with movement
  • sensitive to light - spend days in burrows and come to surface at night
  • lose moisture through skin - migrate to surface and then ground for dew (moisture)
  • secrete coelomic fluid (mucus) - help with movement through soil

FUN EXTRAS!

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The light brown on the map indicates where earthworms are most commonly found in the world.

DID YOU KNOW ?

  • The longest worm was found in South Africa and it measured 22 feet .
  • Baby worms hatch from cocoons smaller than a grain of rice.
  • Worms have both female and male organs (hermaphrodite).