How do earthworms breathe underground?

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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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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.
"F = ma, E = mc^2, and you can't push a string."

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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.
"F = ma, E = mc^2, and you can't push a string."

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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


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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...

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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
 

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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!
"F = ma, E = mc^2, and you can't push a string."

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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!
"Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms." - Audrey Hepburn

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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?
Tim

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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
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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.
"F = ma, E = mc^2, and you can't push a string."

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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?

This is a signature.... AND YOU WILL LIKE IT!!
<font color="maroon"></font id="maroon">How much CAML do you have in your toes? [;)]

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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.
"F = ma, E = mc^2, and you can't push a string."

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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


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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

Greetings in Christ Jesus my Lord


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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
 

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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!
"F = ma, E = mc^2, and you can't push a string."

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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!
"Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms." - Audrey Hepburn

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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?
Tim

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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
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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 »
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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?

We don't want the loonies taking over!
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Offline neilep

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #25 on: 27/04/2004 23:38:13 »
.....Well it certainly applies to Canadian worms Justin!!!

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Offline Exodus

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #26 on: 28/04/2004 00:03:57 »
quote:
Originally posted by MayoFlyFarmer

Is that celine dion's kind of "Lurrve" neil?

We don't want the loonies taking over!



must be damn ugly worms then... [xx(]

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Offline Donnah

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #27 on: 03/05/2004 19:22:42 »
quote:
Originally posted by OldMan

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?

Tim, now that you mention it, I vaguely remember hearing about that.

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Offline Fossil

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #28 on: 17/05/2004 22:52:30 »
I listened to NPR radio on my way to work today and I found out that there are over 4,500 species of earthworms.I also learned that it is a falicy that if you cut an earthworm in half they will regenerate and you will have 2 worms. Earthworms have very sophisticated circulatory systems and there are times when a severed head will grow a new tail.There is a new book out by Amy Stewert titled When the earth moved...or something very close to that...and it is a very comprehensive look at the delightful but overlooked creature. Like my 8th grade biology teacher always said..A dry earthworm is a dead earthworm!
 

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Offline Broca

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #29 on: 20/05/2004 02:43:05 »
I think 6 foot earthworms is actually the movie tremors...<kidding> but Darwin actually thought that the earthworm was responsible for covering many ancient civilizations and preserving them for us to study today. There are not a lot of earthworm scientists, but one man in ohio has discovered and named 300 new species all by himself.
 

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Offline neilep

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #30 on: 21/05/2004 21:28:03 »
quote:
Originally posted by Broca

I think 6 foot earthworms is actually the movie tremors...<kidding> but Darwin actually thought that the earthworm was responsible for covering many ancient civilizations and preserving them for us to study today. There are not a lot of earthworm scientists, but one man in ohio has discovered and named 300 new species all by himself.



He must love Spaghetti !![:D][:D]

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Offline Broca

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #31 on: 26/05/2004 23:38:28 »
The largest worm recorded was found in South Africa and was 22 FEET tip to toe.  yuck!
 

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Offline gsmollin

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #32 on: 27/05/2004 00:53:55 »
There be worm sign! Ride the worm, snort the spice melange, then you can fold space!
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Offline Donnah

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #33 on: 27/05/2004 04:19:40 »
Was it Dune that had the spice worms in it?
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Offline Broca

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #34 on: 27/05/2004 17:57:29 »
Spice worms or Spice girls?
 

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Offline neilep

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #35 on: 27/05/2004 19:15:45 »
...why are they called Earthworms ?...is it to differentiate them from Spaceworms ..........are there Seaworms too then ?

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Offline gsmollin

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #36 on: 28/05/2004 19:24:08 »
It's to differentiate them from buttworms, for instance.

Yes, Donnah, the book, movie, and mini-series with the spice worms was called "Dune".
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Offline neilep

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #37 on: 28/05/2004 19:32:49 »
....yea..thanks gsmollin...I suppose people forget about tape worms et al etc .....buttworms.....yeuchh !!...there was a dcoumnetary about them on Tv a short while ago.....amazing that they can grow for so long (in length and time) without the host knowing

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Offline bezoar

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #38 on: 29/05/2004 00:24:03 »
I had a patient once that was full of round worms.  Had just come to the country from Viet Nam.  You forget how important it is to get a good history sometimes.  We had surgery at the bedside ready to operate when he heaved up about a foot long worm.  Interesting stuff happens in the ER.
 

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Offline neilep

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #39 on: 29/05/2004 01:18:08 »
ohh...yeuchh !!!..perhaps this should be tied in with the fishing thread !!

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Offline Donnah

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #40 on: 31/05/2004 00:18:33 »
Funny, but I know people who deworm their pets regularly and don't think to deworm themselves.
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Offline gsmollin

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Re: How do earthworms breathe underground?
« Reply #41 on: 01/06/2004 02:07:43 »
I'm going out and get a once-a-month dewormer... and taking it!




P. S. Thats a joke, son.
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