Worms are somewhat elusive that even when we try to study them in our little corner, we get only limited information about them. Therefore, we wait for researchers to come up with their findings. I know you have lots of questions about these environmentally-friendly creatures that help to aerate the soil. This article provides answers to some of the basic questions you have about worms, like worm’s diets and their body makeup.
How do earthworms eat?
It is a known fact that these worms don’t have teeth. Instead, they have a liplike extension over their mouth that directs food into the mouth before the throat grabs it and shields it with saliva. It then pushes it down to the esophagus, where it is stored temporarily until it moves to the gizzard. It is then crushed before moving to the intestine, where digestive enzymes break it down. Some food particles are passed into the bloodstream for use by the worm, while the rest is passed out through the anus in the form of poop.
Do these worms have eyes?
Even looking closely at them as they crawl on the ground tells you that they are without eyes. Instead, they have sensory cells in their skin which is sensitive to touch and light. If they sense light, they tend to move away from it because the heat will dry out their skin and kill them.
Do they breathe?
Of course, they do. However, they do not have lungs but breathe through their skin. This means that their skin needs to stay moist to allow for the passage of oxygen into their bloodstream. Since their skin is coated with mucus, they must live in a damp and humid environment.
How do they reproduce?
Earthworms are hermaphrodites because they have both male and female organs. They mate by aligning in opposite directions at their gonadal openings while exchanging sperm. Each of them forms an egg capsule in their clitellum and passes it to the environment. This capsule is golden brown and hatches between 30 to 75 days.
If an earthworm is cut in half, would it develop into two worms?
No. If you cut a worm into two, the head will survive if it contains the vital organs. However, the other half will die because the critical organs are absent.
How do these worms move?
Earthworms have bristles on each segment of their body that moves in and out to grab surfaces as they stretch and contract their muscles. This style makes them move forward slowly in the soil.