Sunday, May 3, 2009

O You, Mighty Little Earthworm!

With all the squeals of delight around here, you'd think it's Christmas ... or Birthday ... or someone bringing loads of candy. Or something.

Nope. Around here, all this excitement comes from the discovery of the ever-lovely EARTH WORM.

Ewww. Is all I can say.

I've been asked all sorts of questions about these squirmy little creations. Like...
Do earth worms have teeth?
What do earth worms eat?
Where do they live?
Why are they all brown and crunchy on our garage floor?

Uh. Biology and dissection seems like a reallllly long time ago (which is a good thing, I am thinking!) so here I am, online, seeking out real answers for my 3-year-old who not only asks good questions, but also has a fabulous memory (and I am motivated by the shudder of the thought of misinforming her, and then her sharing that misinformation with a classroom of kids 5-6 years down the line, and then all of them laughing hysterically over her less-than-educated mother!).

IN FACT, earth worms don't have teeth. Which is a GOOD THING TO KNOW if you are picking up an earth worm with your bare hands (which I d.o.  n.o.t.). It munches its food by sucking it in like a vacuum cleaner (great, so I may not get bit, but I might get a little hickey mark on my hand!).

What does it eat? Wellll, these are efficient little critters, eating - well, pretty much anything they can suck in! Not just dirt (which I told Little M), but garbage, poop and the like. Tasty. They eat pretty much non-stop too. Lovely.

Earth worms live in dirt (mostly!). They are found all over the world, and in a variety of habitats (soil, obviously, but also logs and bogs).

As for death and the cause of the dry crunchy worm, we've saved those conversations for another day, and I just say that the worm ran out of water so he's pretty dried up.

Also good to note (for when you realllly want to impress your youngsters!!) 
 - Earth worms have no lungs. They absorb oxygen through their system.
 - Earth worms produce their very own antifreeze. They curl up in a knot, produce their own antifreeze and voila! They sleep through winter!
 - They can make enough poop in one day to be the equivalent of their body weight!
 - Don't even get into the reproductive conversation. It's a little ... ewww. 

There you have it. Another example of  God's might fine creation at work. Fascinating, providing hours of endless entertainment, and something I don't dare touch without gloves. Or a lonnnnnng stick.

Thanks to Worm Watch for the abundant source of information!!

1 comment:

Robin Fehr said...

Well, thanks to M, you are learning more and maore all the time eh?
I'm sure when we get to that stage with J, he'll be inhaling those worms (no teeth required) himself!! Lol.


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