Posted by: Memorizing Nature | May 19, 2013

Of This Earth

Just like helicopters mimic dragonflies, the plow is a modern variation of the earthworm. (So much in nature goes on above our heads, and below our feet.) With their digging and digesting, earthworms make it possible for us to grow food.

Photo by Elaine Medline

Photo by Elaine Medline

Charles Darwin studied earthworms for decades and wrote his final book about them. He said, “It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world, as have these lowly organized creatures.”

Darwin discovered that to block out the chill, earthworms drag leaves into their tunnels pointy-end first - an efficient and intelligent hauling strategy. He also learned that given a choice, they particularly liked carrots.

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Responses

  1. Wow, beautiful – so very primal.

  2. It’s interesting that most of the worms in Canada and the glaciated US are now from Europe and Asia. The theory is that the last glaciers eradicated most earthworms and the reintroduced ones have come from anglers and garden enthusiasts. While I am still trying to account for the many native american myths and stories that have worns in them, I am intrigued that this creature is considered an invasive exotic by many. It seems to be altering some of our old growth forest understory plant communities. Interesting stuff.


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