• Dissection of the earthworm
    Dissection of the earthworm
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n earthworm terrestrial worm that burrows into and helps aerate soil; often surfaces when the ground is cool or wet; used as bait by anglers
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Additional illustrations & photos:

Cross-section of earthworm Cross-section of earthworm

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The largest earthworm on record was found in South Africa and measured 22 feet
    • Earthworm A mean, sordid person; a niggard.
    • Earthworm (Zoöl) Any worm of the genus Lumbricus and allied genera, found in damp soil. One of the largest and most abundant species in Europe and America is L. terrestris; many others are known; -- called also angleworm and dewworm.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: A species of earthworm, "Megascolides australis," in Australia can grow up to fifteen feet in length
    • n earthworm The common name of the worms of the family Lumbricidæ (which see), and especially of the genus Lumbricus, of which there are several species, one of the best-known being L. terrestris. They belong to the order of oligochætous annelids. The earthworm has a cylindric vermiform body, tapering at both ends, segmented into a great number of rings, destitute of legs, eyes, or any appendages visible on ordinary inspection. It moves by the contraction of the successive segments of the body, aided by rows of bristles which are capable of being retracted. It is hermaphrodite, each individual of a pair impregnating the other in copulation, when the two are jointed in two places by their respective clitella. Earthworms are highly useful, giving a kind of under-tillage to the land, loosening the soil, and rendering it more permeable to the air. According to Darwin, in his work on “The Formation of Vegetable Mould,” etc., earthworms, from their enormous numbers, exercise a highly important agency not only in this respect, but in the creation and aggregation of new soil, the burial and preservation (as also the original disintegration) of organic remains of all kinds, etc. They are food for many birds, mammals, and other animals, and their value for bait is well known to the angler, whence they are often called angleworms or fishworms. These worms are mostly a few inches long, but there are species attaining a length of a yard or more.
    • n earthworm Figuratively, a mean, sordid wretch.
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In literature:

He saw her fix her tackle, her struggle with herself concerning the earthworm, and smiled dully.
"The Brass Bound Box" by Evelyn Raymond
After this stage there was only rock, lead and rock, and the great tubes leading up like the burrows of earthworms.
"The Defenders" by Philip K. Dick
Like great earthworms they moved, sluggishly and with writhing contortions of their many-jointed bodies.
"Wanderer of Infinity" by Harl Vincent
You must know what it's like being hurt, you rotten, loathsome earthworm!
"The One-Way Trail" by Ridgwell Cullum
It comes to our lawn to feed upon earthworms.
"Under the Maples" by John Burroughs
By the table were bloody towels, and in a shallow glass tray was a small object like a damaged piece of earthworm.
"The Passionate Friends" by Herbert George Wells
His bill is made long so that he can bore into the soft ground for earthworms.
"Birds, Illustrated by Color Photography [July 1897]" by Various
In the earthworm the oxygen goes right through the skin into the blood.
"Health Lessons" by Alvin Davison
Yet earthworms do occur on oceanic islands.
"The History of the European Fauna" by R. F. Scharff
The prevalent number of testes is one pair in the aquatic genera and two pairs in earthworms.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 5, Slice 7" by Various
Until it could be tested the earthworm as the cause of the disappearance of the dressings was also Darwin's idea.
"Creative Intelligence" by John Dewey, Addison W. Moore, Harold Chapman Brown, George H. Mead, Boyd H. Bode, Henry Waldgrave, Stuart James, Hayden Tufts, Horace M. Kallen
Its mother gave it an earthworm.
"Special Method in Primary Reading and Oral Work with Stories" by Charles Alexander McMurry
All three had grown dim of sight, and now groped about like three old earthworms.
"The Bondman" by Hall Caine
I have whipped the streams and drowned earthworms for brook trout and other fish, from my childhood days to the present time.
"Fifty Years a Hunter and Trapper" by Eldred Nathaniel Woodcock
They feed on ants and earthworms, and were formerly, but erroneously, deemed poisonous.
"The New Gresham Encyclopedia. Vol. 1 Part 2" by Various
FRIEND, H.: 1893, Luminous Earthworm.
"The Nature of Animal Light" by E. Newton Harvey
When I look on the ground I am not looking after earthworms, as he said.
"The Ordeal of Richard Feverel" by George Meredith
Most earthworms live in the soil, which they devour as they burrow through it.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 8, Slice 9" by Various
I have been talking with Earthworms who would not be Potato Bugs if they could.
"Among the Meadow People" by Clara Dillingham Pierson
The stomach of one individual from Cheju Do contained an earthworm.
"Some Reptiles and Amphibians from Korea" by Robert G Webb

In poetry:

'Some eighteen score of such do I
Raise every year, her sisters;
Go, in the woods your fortunes try,
All day for one poor earthworm pry,
And scratch your toes to blisters!'
"Gold Egg: A Dream-Fantasy" by James Russell Lowell

In news:

The giant Palouse earthworm might just get some protection after all.
The Golden Earthworm Organic Farm, on 80 acres on the North Fork of Long Island, grew from 10 members in 2000 to about 1,300 this year, according to Matthew Kurek, one of the owners.
Biologists trying to figure why giant earthworm grew so big.
Meet Meshworm, the resilient earthworm robot from DARPA and MIT.
Soft autonomous robot inches like earthworm.
Soft autonomous robot inches along like an earthworm.
Like an organic earthworm , sea cucumber, or snail, the soft-body bot moves via peristalsis, or squeezing and stretching the muscles along its tubular body.
Meshworm's movements are based on the principles of peristalsis -- the type of locomotion that allows earthworms , snails, and sea cucumbers to get from one place to another.
The group also outfitted the robot with wires running along its length, similar to an earthworm 's longitudinal muscle fibers.
From An Earthworm To Gaikai, Sony And A $380m Sale.
Which came first to the woodlands of the Midwest, garlic mustard plants or European earthworms.
Like an organic earthworm, sea cucumber, or snail, the soft-body bot moves via peristalsis, or squeezing and stretching the muscles along its tubular body.
The latest such finding comes from a study of people who looked at gross images, such as a man eating earthworms.
Mole salamanders , like the spotted, live subterraneous lives most of the year, burrowing for earthworms and other small prey.
Spotted salamanders spend most of their year underground, gorging on earthworms and other invertebrate treats.