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Author Topic: How do earthworms breathe underground?  (Read 20992 times)

Offline MayoFlyFarmer

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How do earthworms breathe underground?
« on: 27/03/2004 19:28:09 »
Does any body here know much about the repitory system of earthworms?

Here's the thought that came to me as I was lying in bed thismorning.  How do earthworms (I guess this could be said for other underground critters oo) breathe when they're down there.  My firts (and obvious) thought was through the hole that they've been making as they crawl.  But if anyone's ever gotten the idea that a garden hose would make an awesome snorkle, they might join me in seeing the physics problems with that.  Every other scenerio I came up with came to conclusions along that line.  Finally I thought maybe they have some sort of system by which they can remove O2 from the dirt, or water in the dirt (kind of like fish's gills)  but then why do they need to come up for air when it rains?  
The only thing that I can think is that they just need so little O2 that there's just enough down there for them.

Any budding insect physiologists wanna take a stab at this one for me?

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« Last Edit: 30/06/2004 09:01:17 by Exodus »


 

Offline gsmollin

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #1 on: 01/04/2004 23:19:46 »
Earthworms respire through their skin. O2 gets picked up by the mucous on the skin, and diffuses into the capillaries under the skin. CO2 leaves the body through the moist skin as well. A dried out earthworm is a dead earthworm.
 

Offline MayoFlyFarmer

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #2 on: 02/04/2004 02:59:53 »
ok, but where does the air come from? is it just the air that difuses through the soil?

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Offline gsmollin

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #3 on: 02/04/2004 04:22:53 »
Yes, the O2 is in the soil. Healthy soil is aerobic soil, and earthworms are one of the ways that soil stays aerobic.
 

Offline NakedScientist

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #4 on: 02/04/2004 09:45:21 »
That's correct, earthworms are sufficiently small that they can absorb the oxygen that they need through their skins. Soil particles are surrounded by air which contains oxygen.

Other worm-related facts :

Earthworms have been around for over 120 million years. The longest specimens live in Australia and can reach 12 feet in length. In the US worms grow to about 3 feet but in Europe they average 3 inches.

Worms produce both sperm and eggs but cannot self-fertilise. They need to find another worm to mate with to reproduce.

It is a fallacy that worms are flooded out from their burrows during rainstorms. Experiments show that if the water contains sufficient oxygen the worms can remain submerged for long periods. Scientists therefore believe that worms might surface during rainstorms in order to take advantage of the ability to move quickly over the surface when it is wet.

TNS

 

Offline christianchick

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #5 on: 02/04/2004 15:26:08 »
well i know some bugs eat the roots of plants and the plants have oxygen don't they?

Anyways, you should have been watching the discovery channel beacause they had a man whose land had earthworms up to 6ft long, you could see the teeth they use to eat through the soil, i don't think they bite, but it was so freaky...

Greetings in Christ Jesus my Lord

 

Offline MissMontana

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #6 on: 02/04/2004 23:29:55 »
earth worms have teeth?  surely that's like clams having arms
 

Offline gsmollin

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #7 on: 03/04/2004 23:50:29 »
No, clams have feet!
 

Offline Donnah

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #8 on: 04/04/2004 05:07:19 »
Twelve foot earthworms would make a heck of a bumpy lawn!
 

Offline MayoFlyFarmer

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #9 on: 04/04/2004 22:11:21 »
Imagine the bluegills you could catch with one of those though!

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Offline OldMan

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #10 on: 05/04/2004 04:17:51 »
I remember hearing or reading about some worms that only live for 90 hours or something short like that when kept in an antioxidant solution their life span almost doubled. Anyone else hear this?
 

Offline dewey1087

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #11 on: 06/04/2004 02:51:44 »
they breathe through the moisture of their skin as they crawl through the dirt
 

Offline gsmollin

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #12 on: 01/04/2004 23:19:46 »
Earthworms respire through their skin. O2 gets picked up by the mucous on the skin, and diffuses into the capillaries under the skin. CO2 leaves the body through the moist skin as well. A dried out earthworm is a dead earthworm.
 

Offline MayoFlyFarmer

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #13 on: 02/04/2004 02:59:53 »
ok, but where does the air come from? is it just the air that difuses through the soil?

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Offline gsmollin

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #14 on: 02/04/2004 04:22:53 »
Yes, the O2 is in the soil. Healthy soil is aerobic soil, and earthworms are one of the ways that soil stays aerobic.
 

Offline NakedScientist

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #15 on: 02/04/2004 09:45:21 »
That's correct, earthworms are sufficiently small that they can absorb the oxygen that they need through their skins. Soil particles are surrounded by air which contains oxygen.

Other worm-related facts :

Earthworms have been around for over 120 million years. The longest specimens live in Australia and can reach 12 feet in length. In the US worms grow to about 3 feet but in Europe they average 3 inches.

Worms produce both sperm and eggs but cannot self-fertilise. They need to find another worm to mate with to reproduce.

It is a fallacy that worms are flooded out from their burrows during rainstorms. Experiments show that if the water contains sufficient oxygen the worms can remain submerged for long periods. Scientists therefore believe that worms might surface during rainstorms in order to take advantage of the ability to move quickly over the surface when it is wet.

TNS

 

Offline christianchick

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #16 on: 02/04/2004 15:26:08 »
well i know some bugs eat the roots of plants and the plants have oxygen don't they?

Anyways, you should have been watching the discovery channel beacause they had a man whose land had earthworms up to 6ft long, you could see the teeth they use to eat through the soil, i don't think they bite, but it was so freaky...

Greetings in Christ Jesus my Lord

 

Offline MissMontana

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #17 on: 02/04/2004 23:29:55 »
earth worms have teeth?  surely that's like clams having arms
 

Offline gsmollin

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #18 on: 03/04/2004 23:50:29 »
No, clams have feet!
 

Offline Donnah

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #19 on: 04/04/2004 05:07:19 »
Twelve foot earthworms would make a heck of a bumpy lawn!
 

Offline MayoFlyFarmer

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #20 on: 04/04/2004 22:11:21 »
Imagine the bluegills you could catch with one of those though!

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Offline OldMan

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #21 on: 05/04/2004 04:17:51 »
I remember hearing or reading about some worms that only live for 90 hours or something short like that when kept in an antioxidant solution their life span almost doubled. Anyone else hear this?
 

Offline dewey1087

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #22 on: 06/04/2004 02:51:44 »
they breathe through the moisture of their skin as they crawl through the dirt
 

Offline neilep

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #23 on: 27/04/2004 23:02:25 »
I googled this kids site about earthworms... http://yucky.kids.discovery.com/noflash/worm/pg000102.html  , it's got a couple of neat little videos. They have five hearts and no teeth...and with five hearts they must have a lot of lurrrve to give.....thank you worms for being our gardens friend...ahhhhh !!!

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« Last Edit: 27/04/2004 23:03:36 by neilep »
 

Offline MayoFlyFarmer

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #24 on: 27/04/2004 23:26:34 »
Is that celine dion's kind of "Lurrve" neil?

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #24 on: 27/04/2004 23:26:34 »

 

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