Tackle box, fishing rods and worms...the trifecta for a perfect Father's Day afternoon. Gone fishin'! When the boys arrived back home, I could see the curiosity bursting through the doors. The trip to La Salle pier had delighted, but also puzzled them. Cue the questions...
"Mommy, does a worm have eyes? How can it see? Or does it have a nose?" As always, I was amused by my pre-schooler's line of thinking, and equally stumped for the right answers. Let's dive right in...
If you ask little inquiring minds about a worm's anatomy, you are likely to hear descriptions like, "slithery", "slimy", "long", or "ewwww." The truth is that worms can be all of these things, but most importantly, they serve an important purpose to mother nature.
There are two main types of worms:
- Red Earthworms that are most commonly seen outside.
- Night Crawlers that are very deep in the soil and harder to spot.
Both types of worms are crucial to the health of the soil. As described on the "Science With Me" website (http://sciencewithme.com/learn-about-earthworms/):
"They spend most of their time digging around in dirt, eating leaf bits and the remains of animals. As they do [this] they accomplish three things:
- Their eating actions serve to turn the soil.
- The tunnels they produce as they move through the soil 'aerate' that soil, meaning that they allow it to take in valuable air that it would not otherwise receive.
- Worm castings (aka: poop) provide recycled nutrients to nourish the soil.
These three actions actually make the soil more fertile!"
Now that we've determined how wonderful worms are, let's get back to the original question...does a worm have eyes or a nose? The simple answer is "no". A worm consists of tiny little rings (between 120-170), and has five hearts, female/male reproductive organs, a mouth, an intestine, and blood vessels. It breathes directly through its skin since it doesn't have any respiratory organs.
If you want an in-depth lesson geared towards primary school aged kids, I highly recommend the "Science With Me" website. It's a great learning resource for all topics, including worms! http://sciencewithme.com
It's a wonderful wormy life, right?!