Science Questions

Can earthworms fly?

Sun, 11th Jan 2009

Listen Now    Download as mp3 from the show New Year, New Naked Science

Question

Brian asked:

I was cleaning the roof of my garage, sweeping falling leaves and branches away. There was all this decomposing matter there that had reached critical mass that was making soil on the roof. As I cleaned it off I was surprised to find healthy earthworms in the soil. How did they make it up there?

Answer

Kat - This is an interesting one but my prime suspect in this case would be birds. There is some evidence that worms can crawl but I doubt that big earthworms can crawl that far. I reckon that a bird has got mud on its beak or is maybe carrying another earthworm thatís got mud on it thatís got tiny earthworm eggs and theyíve got deposited up there. Itís a nice environment, itís nice and damp. If youíve got soil, organic matter up there then those dropped worm cocoons, the eggs in a bundle have started to grow. I reckon theyíve been dropped up there by birds.

Chris - I agree because when I was little I got into trouble with my parents for putting a worm in my brotherís hair which I absolutely did not do. Because he reached into his hair and found a worm and got told off for it. Actually a bird had just gone over and I think a bird dropped the worm on my brotherís head. I didnít do it honest.

Multimedia

Subscribe Free

Related Content

Not working please enable javascript
EPSRC
Powered by UKfast
STFC
Genetics Society
ipDTL