A Wormtastic Life

The Life of a Worm

"Hi, I'm Germ the worm, and I will be your specialized supervisor today on the wormtastic life of us worms."

Habitat

We can live.....

  • in all parts of the world

  • in marine, freshwater, and terrestrial environments

  • in the ground

  • near food (Food, glorious food!)

  • where there’s protection (Ahhhh- moles!)

  • where it’s not too dry, not too wet, not too warm, and not too cool (We're kind of picky)

  • in places with no direct sunlight (can't live in sunlight)


To the left is a picture of a beach, where some of my brothers live. You can see the worm holes where they've traveled to the surface, then burrowed back underground.

Adaptations

Some neat things we can do/have are...
  • we burrow in soil for protection

  • we have sensitive skin with tiny holes to allow breathing

    • sunlight makes the holes close so we can’t breathe (The light! It buuuuurns!)

    • if we went swimming, the holes would fill with water, which wouldn't be that great either

  • our segments contain tiny hairs called setae, that help us grip the soil when we move (And no, we don't shave)

  • our streamline body and long muscles help us move easily

  • we push our pharynx out of mouth to grab food, then pull it back into the mouth and wet it with saliva (What? We don't have teeth!)

  • some of us discharge mucus that helps us move

    • for my cousins, this mucus glows in the dark to help them see

  • when environment changes we go through aestivation where we go deeper in the soil, discharge a protective mucus layer, coil into a ball, and lower our metabolic rate until the conditions return to normal (we like to run away and hide from our problems)

  • we can’t see or hear- respond to vibrations and light receptors

  • when the ground vibrates, we come to the surface because it feels like a mole is after us (The moles are coming! The moles are coming!)

  • sensitive to light- many of come to the surface at night (party time!!!)

  • we lose moisture through our skin so we move to the surface where there’s dew to migrate and reproduce


To the right, is my Uncle Lerm. He has REALLY long setae. Sometimes I REALLY wish us worms could shave.

Lifestyle

What else is there to know about us? Well....
  • some of us, like me, live in the ground and help condition the soil

  • many of my aunts and uncles are parasites- I don't like them very much

  • some are free-living (not parasites), like me

  • we have 5 hearts and hundreds of liver like organs (Shouldn't we be afraid of heart attacks?)

  • the older the worm, the more segments we have

  • we can’t see or hear (blind AND deaf!)

  • we can feel vibrations and have light receptors

  • we breathe through skin- but must stay moist with mucus to breathe (So basically, we're congested all the time)

  • no teeth (like grandmas!)

  • have tiny hairs (setae) on segments


To the left is a picture of my second cousin, Cartoon. He, like all worms, has 5 hearts.

"And That's My Wormtastic Life!"

"I hope you enjoyed your tour. Please exit through the doors to the left and take all your trash and belongings with you."