38 Earthworm Facts for Kids
Sure, earthworms might seem gross. But believe it or not, worms are actually very helpful creatures in a lot of ways. Here, we will tell you more facts about earthworms that we bet you did not already know. Read on to learn more about these neat, creepy, crawly creatures.
1. You can immediately identify earthworms because they are found living in moist soils of all types. They are often reddish-brown in color, and have a body that is slimy and appears to be in segments, or different pieces connected all together.
2. Earthworms have no ears or eyes. They do have one end of their body that is more sensitive to light than the other.
3. There are well over 6,000 different types of earthworms around the world.
4. Earthworms are on every continent except Antarctica. They even live in some oceans.
5. Earthworms actually breathe through their skin.
6. If an earthworm stays outside in the light for more than an hour, they will die. They may also be in danger if they are either in soil that is too wet or too dry.
7. The reason that worms feel slimy is because they secrete a fluid that helps them to crawl and dig better through dirt, all while keeping their skin moist.
8. The earthworms that you see after heavy storms are usually from the species commonly known as the rain worm.
9. Worms that typically come out at night at known as night crawlers.
10. The worms that you might find being sold as fish bait are called angleworms.
11. Worms can dig down over 6 feet underneath the surface of the soil.
12. Earthworms have no bones or skeletons.
13. Believe it or not, earthworms are not boys are girls. They are both, at the same time. All adult earthworms can lay cocoons, or eggs.
14. Most worms will live between 1 and 2 years. However, they can live as long as up to 8 years.
15. In the tropical areas of the world, some species of earthworms can reach up to 14 feet long.
16. The largest earthworm ever found measured 22 feet long.
17. Of the types in the US, worms that you grow can get up to 14 inches long.
18. Worms love to eat both soil and fallen leaves. They eat their body weight in these materials each day.
19. Each small part of the body of the earthworm (segments) are covered with hair like bristles that are used by the worms for wriggling through dirt.
20. These same bristles allow worms to sense touch.
21. If earthworms are native to the area, then they will help gardeners and plants by mixing air with the soil and loosening it around the roots of various plants. Because of this, earthworms are very important to the ecosystem.
22. Worm tunnels also help to hold soils in place and stop erosion through water.
23. Pesticides might kill common garden pests, but they can also negatively impact the earthworm population.
24. Worms can crawl both backward and forward in the soil.
25. The castings produced by worms (or earthworm poop) is actually a very desirable natural fertilizer for plants. Some gardeners even purchase earthworm castings to mix with their soil.
26. When they are born, earthworms are actually hatched from very tiny eggs that look a little like lemons. Baby earthworms look just like adults after they hatch. It takes them from 10 to around 55 weeks to become adults.
27. Each adult earthworm can produce up to 80 eggs each year.
28. In only 90 days, the total number of earthworms in a given area can actually double.
29. Despite the fact that they may not seem like the smartest creatures, earthworms actually do have the ability to remember some things. You can even teach them to avoid dangers.
30. If an earthworm gets injured and part of their body is cut off from another, they can replace that part by growing another. This only works for the part of the original worm that still has the head. Reproducing parts is also very difficult for the worms, but it can be done.
31. Do not cut a worm in half! You will kill it, just like you would any other living creature.
32. Earthworms have red blood, just like humans.
33. Lots of other animals eat earthworms in the wild. This includes toads, foxes, moles, birds, snakes, slugs, and beetles.
34. In some areas of the world, people actually eat earthworms.
35. Some earthworms might have up to five hearts.
36. We are 75% water. Earthworms are 90% water.
37. Over a million earthworms are found in every single acre of land.
38. If you want to learn more about earthworms, we recommend raising them on your own (which you can do) by creating an earthworm farm in a terrarium, jar, or plastic box. Just add soil with some leaves and grasses. Chances are (if the soil is fresh from the outdoors) a few worms will already be there.