How do worms poo?

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Have you ever noticed, when it’s a rainy day that lots of worms come out to play? My girls have and they like to rescue the worms that get stuck in puddles, moving them to safety in grass verges by the sides of the road. Seeing the worms wriggling about, they often ask questions about how worms live. So let’s find out more about these weird and wonderful creatures…

The fat, juicy, pink worms that live in our garden are called ‘earthworms‘ and there are about 6,000 species of them around the world. Earthworms live in the ground and their skin makes a special substance that keeps them moist and helps them to move through the soil.

Earthworms like to eat leaves and soil but they don’t have any teeth in their mouths. The food a worm eats food passes along its digestive tract – a long tube that runs all the way along its body from its mouth to its anus (or bumhole!). The worm’s body takes nutrients from the food as it passes through the digestive tract and the leftover bits come out of its anus as ‘castings’ (which is just a science word for ‘worm poo’).

The life of an earthworm is fascinating! Did you know that worms don’t have eyes but they can sense whether it is dark or light, and they don’t have ears but feel vibrations through the ground. Like other animals, worms have to breathe but they don’t have lungs like humans, instead they breathe through their skin! And they have five hearts to push blood around their bodies.

Gardeners like to have worms in their gardens because the worms make tunnels that keep the soil aerated and they help to keep the soil rich with nutrients by eating up plant bits and leaving castings behind in the soil.

If you like worms and you enjoyed reading this post, you might also enjoy one of my daughters’ favourite nature books: Yucky Worms!

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