Biology of Worms
Manure worms (red worms) and earth worms all have a long, rounded body with a
pointed head and slightly flatter posterior. The body is moist and soft,
surrounded by rings. The rings allow the worm to twist, turn, and move
through the ground. This is especially important as the worm does not
have a backbone or legs. The body does have setae (bristles) along
it to help the worm move back and forth, or 'crawl', through the ground.
Worms breathe through their skin, absorbing oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide
to the atmosphere. Food is taken in through the mouth and passed to a
stomach (crop). After the food has been partially broken down it moves to
the gizzard where it is ground with the help of ingested stones. The
material then passes through the intestine where the digestible parts are
absorbed, and the rest is excreted. Worms have both male and female sex
organs, but are required to mate with another individual for reproduction.
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