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How? What? Why?

(27 Posts)
Anne58 Mon 16-Dec-13 23:15:13

JessM 's comment on dissection on the "most disgusting things you have ever eaten" thread reminded me of this question.

How do worms (specifically earthworms) reproduce? Do they lay eggs? If not, then what do they do?

I'm sure others have questions that they would like answered (not necessarily by Jess though! Poor soul would never get any peace!)

Tegan Mon 16-Dec-13 23:26:56

I know they're hermaphrodites.

Anne58 Mon 16-Dec-13 23:30:30

Yes, Tegan but it still doesn't cover the whole answer!

Tegan Mon 16-Dec-13 23:33:34

I'm doing it in stages. That's the bit I remember from school biology. The rest I've googled. However, it all sounds very complicated [but involved cocoons] and the baby worms emerge after somethingorother days fully formed [which sounds really cute]. I think I missed my true vocation as a biology teacher confused.

annodomini Mon 16-Dec-13 23:34:11

I'm sure that was all explained to us in science classes at school, but don't think it registered with me.

Anne58 Mon 16-Dec-13 23:34:50

tchgrin Love it, Tegan !!

Tegan Mon 16-Dec-13 23:36:37

And they do it at night wink.

Anne58 Mon 16-Dec-13 23:40:53

My late stepfather was a very enthusiastic nature lover, always remember the time mother and I were back earlier than expected from a shopping trip only to find him boiling up some strange smelling stuff on the Aga. Turns out it was a recipe he had found for moth bait!

Then of course there was the time that we found him and my Ds1 in the cupboard under the stairs with a jar of glow worms............tchconfused

But even he couldn't answer the earthworm reproduction question. I seem to remember him phoning the Natural History Museum, but can't recall the outcome.

tiggypiro Tue 17-Dec-13 08:41:50

How do you tell which end of a worm is its mouth ?

tiggypiro Tue 17-Dec-13 08:43:14

Tickle its tummy and see which end laughs !

Sorry folks - it's the only joke I can ever remember (mega groans from famliy!!)

feetlebaum Tue 17-Dec-13 09:03:52

Put the worm into a bowl of flour and wait for it to fart...

NfkDumpling Tue 17-Dec-13 09:07:22


Flowerofthewest Tue 17-Dec-13 09:10:00

Even though earthworms have both sets of sexual organs they must mate with another to reproduce.

Lona Tue 17-Dec-13 09:11:43

I remember disecting a worm in a biology lesson and it was full of soil.
That's all I can recall, must have been a good lesson hmm

Flowerofthewest Tue 17-Dec-13 09:31:42

I managed to have a stomach ache and stay off school every time we had to the dissecting days loomed. eyes of sheep, poor little frogs and, yes, worms.

annodomini Tue 17-Dec-13 09:41:33

The answer is sure to be on Wiki... but life's too short. grin

Aka Tue 17-Dec-13 09:45:08

Yes, I remember something from biology lessons. Something to do with that smooth bit half way down their bodies.

JessM Tue 17-Dec-13 09:58:58

They lie next to each other and swap sperm. Then the saddle (or clitellum) forms an egg capsule that they kind of shuffle down their bodies and deposit in the soil.
Snails are more extravert hermaphrodites - they shoot each other with sharp darts, reel each other in (terribly S and M) and then impregnate each other using very, very long penises.

petallus Tue 17-Dec-13 10:16:09

Mmm!if I had to choose would I rather be a worm or a snail?

JessM Tue 17-Dec-13 10:19:05

snail definitely.

Lona Tue 17-Dec-13 10:23:38

Worm! Nothing's going to reel me in with a sharp dart!! tchgrin

glassortwo Tue 17-Dec-13 10:30:54

I enjoyed dissecting a frog at school, but it kept staring at me while I cut bits off.

glassortwo Tue 17-Dec-13 10:31:23

It was dead tchshock

petallus Tue 17-Dec-13 10:52:46

It must have been the frog's ghost then, staring out of it's dead eyes!

The worm's method sounds boring but undemanding. Snail for more fun.

tiggypiro Tue 17-Dec-13 11:02:34

Thanks feetle - I can now astound the family by having a different punch line !.

Last year nice neighbour and I watched snails mating - it took AGES and we were definitely bored before they were. (Sort of remember that feeling blush )