They’re creepy and they’re crawly

Except when the are on the dissecting tray! 😀

Apologia Biology – Module 11

  • Kingdom Animalia
  • Phylum Annelida

Phylum Annelida is made up of segmented worms.  Most common worm is the earth worm.  Oh Yay!  They’re squeesh and they’re crawly…     I really don’t like to hold live worms. Can you believe that?

These things are a complicated form of a suction tube.  They suck in dirt  through their mouths, using the pharynx.  Then the dirt goes through their little squeeshy bodies absorbing nutrients along the way, and then poop the leftovers out the um… posterior end.  You know what I mean.

These little creatures are more complicated than eating dirt and pooping out the leftovers.  They have some interesting internal organs.

Like the Ganglia (at A), which is a bunch of nerve cells acting as a brain.  It coordinates the responses of the earthworm.  Did you know that there are small ganglion at each segment of the worm?  They help spread the word.  Whatever word that might be.  Could be “HEY! You’re about to be fed to a fish.  Wiggle!… like crazy!”

After dirt is sucked up through the mouth and pharynx, it is stored in the crop for a while. Waiting on instructions on what to do next.  Once that is given, the dirt goes to the gizzard, where the soil is ground down to smaller bits.  Some nutrients are absorbed after this.  Then the dirt travels on down…

The poop at the end *snicker*, is very rich in stuff that make plants grow.  You can  have your own live composting.  It is called Vermicomposting.  It’s cool. I have done it once.  I ordered a box of worms and received box with a HUGE BRIGHT PINK paper on top that said, LIVE WORMS!  Wonder what the mailman thought?  I put everything in the bucket I had and the next day had a gazillion tiny worms on my back porch.  They all died and the rest ate garbage from my kitchen.  Three months later I used their poop to plant flowers for butterflies.  It worked great!

I also heard that if you dried redworms and grind them up, mix them in your breads, it’ll bring down your high cholesterol.  I need a reader to try this out and let me know if it works.  You can come to my class and talk about it. 🙂

The specimens we had were not excellent, so it was hard to find the pieces parts.  The students are also finding it very difficult to sketch and dissect at the same time.  It is hard when you only have 1.5 hours to complete everything.

Instead of sketching, I sent the students photos of the worm to label.  The pictures were not great, but they did a good job.

At the end of the session, one young lady said, “I am proud to announce;  I did not puke!”   I call that a success!

Here are some interesting links for this study.

Aortic Arches video and Birth of worm babies video. The mother must be so proud!

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2 responses to “They’re creepy and they’re crawly

  1. Well, that was a very lovely post to read while I ate my breakfast. Thank you.

  2. Umm….gross?

    Yes. Definitely gross.

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