Depending on the species, an adult earthworm can be from 10 mm (0.39 in) long and 1 mm (0.039 in) wide to 3 m (9.8 ft) long and over 25 mm (0.98 in) wide, but the typical Lumbricus terrestris grows to about 360 mm (14 in) long.
The longest earthworm is Microchaetus rappi of South Africa. In 1967 a giant specimen measuring 6.7 m (21 ft) in length when naturally extended and 20 mm (0.8 in) in diameter was found on a road between Alice and King William’s Town.
Some earthworm species can live up 8 years, but it is very rare for them to survive that long. Most are eaten or killed in some other way before they live for one year.
The short answer is yes. These squiggly creatures can be eaten raw or cooked, especially for small children who are invariably drawn to earthworms. Not sure why, that’s just the way it is! … Worms that are farm raised for eating are fed pest-free food that helps keeps them clean and parasite-free.
Heartbeats: Worms don’t have just one heart. They have FIVE! But their hearts and circulatory system aren’t as complicated as ours — maybe because their blood doesn’t have to go to so many body parts.
Within eight days, you’ll have two or three fully functioning new worms, mouth, brain and all.
Giant Gippsland worm
Native to southeastern state of Victoria, and found only in the Bass River Valley of South Gippsland, the Giant Gippsland worm (Megascolides australis) measures on average 3.3 feet (1 metre) long, and 0.79 inches (2 centimeters) in diameter, and weighs about 0.44 lb (200 grams).
Ancient worms built tunnels in the sea bottom, reinforcing the walls with mucus. Gigantic predatory marine worms that lived about 20 million years ago ambushed their prey by leaping at them from underground tunnels in the sea bottom, new fossils from Taiwan reveal.
Worms can survive underwater for several weeks as their skin can absorb oxygen from the water. However, they are unable to swim and will eventually drown if they fail to exit the water.
How long can red wigglers go without food? Red wiggles can go up to two weeks without food. After that, you will find that they will move on if possible or die out. If you are leaving them unattended, leave them a supply of food, along with adequate bedding and moisture.
They burrow during the day—typically keeping close to the surface—capable of digging down as deep as 6.5 feet. The worm’s first segment contains its mouth. As they burrow, they consume soil, extracting nutrients from decomposing organic matter like leaves and roots.
“Pathogens that we already know can be carried by worms include E. coli O157 and salmonella. These bacteria can cause severe gastrointestinal infections in humans and are commonly found in soil.
Some species can release a stinging substance. Earthworms and red wriggler worms are perfectly safe to hold bare-handed, though it’s probably prudent to wash your hands before eating your next meal.
The red worms are especially prized: even raw they have a distinct smoky taste. … They are eaten mostly in rural areas, but can occasionally be found in urban markets, where they sell out quickly – and no wonder, for they taste like tiny pieces of crispy bacon.
They’re high in protein and have high levels of iron and of amino acids, which help break down food and repair body tissue. They also contain copper, manganese and zinc. Earthworms are a source of calcium as well — on a par with the amount in fresh cheese or cow’s milk, says Dufour.
A team of scientists from the University of Tsukuba in Japan revealed that the worm lacks certain features common among more complex animals, such as a centralized nervous system, kidneys and an anus. However, the creature does have an oval-shaped mouth, implying that its digestive system has only one opening.
However, earthworms can survive if their tail end is cut off, and can regrow their segments but earthworms generally cannot survive if the front part of their body between the head and the saddle is cut as this is where their major organs are.
Worms are ready to breed once they mature from 50 to 90 days. Earthworms are hermaphrodites; they can be male or female (a great advantage!). They can perform both male and female functions and mate every 7 to 10 days. The mating process takes around 24 hours.
Soil experts now think earthworms surface during rain storms for migration purposes. “It gives them an opportunity to move greater distances across the soil surface than they could do through soil,” said Dr. Lowe. … Earthworms often come to the surface to escape moles.
|Giant Palouse earthworm|
|Driloleirus americanus Smith, 1897|
|Peripatus (Velvet Worm)||$ 9.00|
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These are Epiperipatus barbadensis, the Barbados Brown Velvet Worm. Unlike the ones from New Zealand that have made it into the US hobby off and on the past couple decades on a limited basis, these ones are happy at room temperature and don’t require extreme measures like keeping them in wine coolers.
Their nutrition comes from things in soil, such as decaying roots and leaves. Animal manures are an important food source for earthworms. They eat living organisms such as nematodes, protozoans, rotifers, bacteria, fungi in soil. Worms will also feed on the decomposing remains of other animals.
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