My nieces love going into Central Park in New York City or out in the yard in the Hamptons and digging for worms. Not exactly my cup ‘o tea digging for worms, BUT its very entertaining for the kids and can be educational too! With summer here and in need of afternoon activities, why not dig for worms with your kids? Here are some fun facts:
- A worm has no eyes, legs or arms.
- There are 2700 different types of earthworms in the world.
- There can be up to 1 MILLION earthworms in just 1 acre of land.
- 22 foot long earthworm was found in South Africa.
- Worms help plants by mixing the soil. So gardeners love them because they are ‘free’ help!
- Even without eyes, a worm can still sense light and will move away from it.
- Earthworms come to the surface when it rains because they need oxygen to breathe, and they would drown if they stayed in the soil.
- Regular earthworms can live 15 years.
- Although native to Europe, earthworms are found throughout North America and western Asia. They do not live in deserts or regions where there is permafrost or permanent snow and ice.
- They are often called night crawlers because they are often seen feeding above ground at night. Said to be shy of the light, they burrow during the day and stay close to the surface, but they can dig down in the soil as deep as 6.5 feet (2 meters).
- The worm’s first segment contains its mouth. As they burrow, they consume soil, extracting nutrients from decomposing organic matter like leaves and roots. Earthworms are vital to soil health and to plants growing in it because they transport nutrients and minerals from below to the surface via their waste.
- As they move through the soil, their tunnels aerate the ground. An earthworm can eat up to one third its body weight in a day. That would be equal to a 75-pound (34.1-kilogram) youngster eating 25 pounds (11.4 kilograms) of food in one day!
- Earthworms are a source of food for numerous animals, like birds, rats, and toads, and are frequently used in composting and as bait in commercial and recreational fishing. Their numbers are strong throughout their range—they’re even considered agricultural pests in some areas—and they have no special status.
- Earthworms are invertebrates—they don’t have an internal skeleton made of bone.
- There isn’t a fossil record of earthworms because they are soft-bodied invertebrates.
- Most earthworms will live for about six years in the wild.
- Many people believe that if a worm is cut in half, the two pieces will grow into full-size worms. This is not true.
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