Earthworms are basic creatures that pack a powerful environmental punch. They reside in damp soil, digging tunnels that aerate the soil for plants and processing plant life through their gastrointestinal systems to turn it into nutrients for the plant roots. Earthworms do all this with standard organ systems.
Earthworms don’t have lungs like mammals do. Instead, they breathe by diffusing air directly through their skin. Oxygen passes in while co2 loses consciousness. Their skin should stay wet for the gas diffusion to work properly, which is why they stay with damp soil and do not normally venture out into the hot sunlight.
An earthworm has a closed circulatory system that uses vessels to send out blood through its body. There are five aortic arches throughout his body that serve as pumps. The dorsal vessels take blood from the back of his body to the front, and the forward vessels take blood the other instructions, from front to back. Smaller sized blood vessels help the blood take in nutrients and oxygen or co2 and carry them to the proper areas of his body.
For such a small creature, an earthworm has an effective muscular system. Long muscles that run along his length help set off a wave of movement from smaller muscles that circle the body in sectors. The circular muscles squeeze inward while extending to the sides, going in waves down the earthworm’s body. This pushes his body forward.
Digestion take place in almost a straight line down the earthworm’s body. When he ingests food, he swallows it until it passes through the gizzard, which uses small stones to grind up the food and pass it onto the intestines. In the intestines, the healthy pieces are soaked up and the waste passed to the excretory system.
Part of an earthworm’s excretory system is directly linked to his gastrointestinal system, as the intestinal tracts pass waste through the anus and out of the worm. This poop is called castings, and it serves as a type of plant fertilizer. However, some of the waste is gotten by excretory cells and carried external to the skin. This waste is produced through the skin as mucus that assists keep the worm’s skin moist.
Earthworms have actually nerve clusters called ganglia that are connected to a nerve cord that run down the worm’s length. The ganglia transfer electrical signals from the nerve cable to numerous other systems, such as telling the muscles to agreement or the gizzard to start grinding food.
An earthworms needs to mate with another worm to produce eggs, however they do not have to search for a particular gender. The majority of earthworms are hermaphrodites, which means they bring both male and female reproductive organs. To mate, the earthworms basically exchange sperm. Then, each earthworm lays eggs fertilized by the other’s sperm.