An earthworm is a tube-shaped, segmented worm found in the phylum Annelida. They have a world-wide distribution and are commonly found living in soil, feeding on live and dead organic matter. An earthworm's digestive system runs through the length of its body. It conducts respiration through its skin. It has a double transport system composed of coelomic fluid that moves within the fluid-filled coelom and a simple, closed blood circulatory system. It has a central and a peripheral nervous system. The central nervous system consists of two ganglia above the mouth, one on either side, connected to a nerve cord running back along its length to motor neurons and sensory cells in each segment. Large numbers of chemoreceptors are concentrated near its mouth. Circumferential and longitudinal muscles on the periphery of each segment enable the worm to move. Similar sets of muscles line the gut, and their actions move the digesting food toward the worm's anus.
Earthworms are hermaphrodites: each individual carries both male and female sex organs. As invertebrates, they lack either an internal skeleton or exoskeleton, but maintain their structure with fluid-filled coelom chambers that function as a hydrostatic skeleton.
"Earthworm" is the common name for the largest members of Oligochaeta (which is either a class or a subclass depending on the author). In classical systems, they were placed in the order Opisthopora, on the basis of the male pores opening posterior to the female pores, though the internal male segments are anterior to the female. Theoretical cladistic studies have placed them, instead, in the suborder Lumbricina of the order Haplotaxida, but this may again soon change. Folk names for the earthworm include "dew-worm", "rainworm", "night crawler", and "angleworm" (due to its use as fishing bait).
Larger terrestrial earthworms are also called megadriles (which translates to "big worms"), as opposed to the microdriles ("small worms") in the semiaquatic families Tubificidae, Lumbricidae, and Enchytraeidae, among others. The megadriles are characterized by having a distinct clitellum (which is more extensive than that of microdriles) and a vascular system with true capillaries.
Depending on the species, an adult earthworm can be from 10 mm (0.39 in) long and 1 mm (0.039 in) wide to 3 m (9.8 ft) long and over 25 mm (0.98 in) wide, but the typical Lumbricus terrestris grows to about 360 mm (14 in) long. Probably the longest worm on confirmed records is Amynthas mekongianus that extends up to 3 m (10 ft)  in the mud along the banks of the 4,350 km (2,703 mi) Mekong River in Southeast Asia.
From front to back, the basic shape of the earthworm is a cylindrical tube, divided into a series of segments (called metamerisms) that compartmentalize the body. Furrows are generally externally visible on the body demarking the segments; dorsal pores and nephridiopores exude a fluid that moistens and protects the worm's surface, allowing it to breathe. Except for the mouth and anal segments, each segment carries bristle-like hairs called lateral setae used to anchor parts of the body during movement; species may have four pairs of setae on each segment or more than eight sometimes forming a complete circle of setae per segment. Special ventral setae are used to anchor mating earthworms by their penetration into the bodies of their mates.
Generally, within a species, the number of segments found is consistent across specimens, and individuals are born with the number of segments they will have throughout their lives. The first body segment (segment number 1) features both the earthworm's mouth and, overhanging the mouth, a fleshy lobe called the prostomium, which seals the entrance when the worm is at rest, but is also used to feel and chemically sense the worm's surroundings. Some species of earthworm can even use the prehensile prostomium to grab and drag items such as grasses and leaves into their burrow.
An adult earthworm develops a belt-like glandular swelling, called the clitellum, which covers several segments toward the front part of the animal. This is part of the reproductive system and produces egg capsules. The posterior is most commonly cylindrical like the rest of the body, but depending on the species, may also be quadrangular, octagonal, trapezoidal, or flattened. The last segment is called the periproct; the earthworm's anus, a short vertical slit, is found on this segment.
The exterior of an individual segment is a thin cuticle over skin, commonly pigmented red to brown, which has specialized cells that secrete mucus over the cuticle to keep the body moist and ease movement through soil. Under the skin is a layer of nerve tissue, and two layers of muscles—a thin outer layer of circular muscle, and a much thicker inner layer of longitudinal muscle. Interior to the muscle layer is a fluid-filled chamber called a coelom that by its pressurization provides structure to the worm's boneless body. The segments are separated from each other by septa (the plural of "septum") which are perforated transverse walls, allowing the coelomic fluid to pass between segments. A pair of structures called nephrostomes are located at the back of each septum; a nephric tubule leads from each nephrostome through the septum and into the following segment. This tubule then leads to the main body fluid filtering organ, the nephridium or metanephridium, which removes metabolic waste from the coelomic fluid and expels it through pores called nephridiopores on the worm's sides; usually two nephridia (sometimes more) are found in most segments. At the center of a worm is the digestive tract, which runs straight through from mouth to anus without coiling, and is flanked above and below by blood vessels (the dorsal blood vessel and the ventral blood vessel as well as a subneural blood vessel) and the ventral nerve cord, and is surrounded in each segment by a pair of pallial blood vessels that connect the dorsal to the subneural blood vessels.
Many earthworms can eject coelomic fluid through pores in the back in response to stress; Australian Didymogaster sylvaticus (known as the "blue squirter earthworm") can squirt fluid as high as 30 cm (12 in).
Earthworms' brains consist of a pair of pear-shaped cerebral ganglia. These are located in the dorsal side of the alimentary canal in the third segment, in a groove between the buccal cavity and pharynx.
A pair of circum-pharyngeal connectives from the brain encircle the pharynx and then connect with a pair of sub-pharyngeal ganglia located below the pharynx in the fourth segment. This arrangement means the brain, sub-pharyngeal ganglia and the circum-pharyngeal connectives form a nerve ring around the pharynx.
The ventral nerve cord (formed by nerve cells and nerve fibres) begins at the sub-pharyngeal ganglia and extends below the alimentary canal to the most posterior body segment. The ventral nerve cord has a swelling, or ganglion, in each segment, i.e. a segmental ganglion, which occurs from the fifth to the last segment of the body. There are also three giant axons, one medial giant axon (MGA) and two lateral giant axons (LGAs) on the mid-dorsal side of the ventral nerve cord. The MGA is 0.07 mm in diameter and transmits in an anterior-posterior direction at a rate of 32.2 m/s. The LGAs are slightly wider at 0.05 mm in diameter and transmit in a posterior-anterior direction at 12.6 m/s. The two LGAs are connected at regular intervals along the body and are therefore considered one giant axon.
The sympathetic nervous system consists of nerve plexuses in the epidermis and alimentary canal. (A plexus is a web of nerve cells connected together in a two dimensional grid.) The nerves that run along the body wall pass between the outer circular and inner longitudinal muscle layers of the wall. They give off branches that form the intermuscular plexus and the subepidermal plexus. These nerves connect with the circumpharyngeal connective.
On the surface, crawling speed varies both within and among individuals. Earthworms crawl faster primarily by taking longer "strides" and a greater frequency of strides. Larger Lumbricus terrestris worms crawl at a greater absolute speed than smaller worms. They achieve this by taking slightly longer strides but with slightly lower stride frequencies.
Touching an earthworm, which causes a "pressure" response as well as (often) a response to the dehydrating quality of the salt on human skin (toxic to earthworms), stimulates the subepidermal nerve plexus which connects to the intermuscular plexus and causes the longitudinal muscles to contact, thereby the writhing movements when we pick up an earthworm. This behaviour is a reflex and does not require the CNS; it occurs even if the nerve cord is removed. Each segment of the earthworm has its own nerve plexus. The plexus of one segment is not connected directly to that of adjacent segments. The nerve cord is required to connect the nervous systems of the segments.
The giant axons carry the fastest signals along the nerve cord. These are emergency signals that initiate reflex escape behaviours. The larger dorsal giant axon conducts signals the fastest, from the rear to the front of the animal. If the rear of the worm is touched, a signal is rapidly sent forwards causing the longitudinal muscles in each segment to contract. This causes the worm to shorten very quickly as an attempt to escape from a predator or other potential threat. The two medial giant axons connect with each other and send signals from the front to the rear. Stimulation of these causes the earthworm to very quickly retreat (perhaps contracting into its burrow to escape a bird).
The presence of a nervous system is essential for an animal to be able to experience nociception or pain. However, other physiological capacities are also required such as opioid sensitivity and central modulation of responses by analgesics. Enkephalin and α-endorphin-like substances have been found in earthworms. Injections of naloxone (an opioid antagonist) inhibit the escape responses of earthworms. This indicates that opioid substances play a role in sensory modulation, similar to that found in many vertebrates.
Earthworms do not have eyes (although some worms do), however, they do have specialized photosensitive cells called "light cells of Hess". These photoreceptor cells have a central intracellular cavity (phaosome) filled with microvilli. As well as the microvilli, there are several sensory cilia in the phaosome which are structurally independent of the microvilli. The photoreceptors are distributed in most parts of the epidermis but are more concentrated on the back and sides of the worm. A relatively small number occur on the ventral surface of the 1st segment. They are most numerous in the prostomium and reduce in density in the first three segments; they are very few in number past the third segment.
The gut of the earthworm is a straight tube which extends from the worm's mouth to its anus. It is differentiated into a buccal cavity (generally running through the first one or two segments of the earthworm), pharynx (running generally about four segments in length), esophagus, crop, gizzard (usually) and intestine.
Food enters in the mouth. The pharynx acts as a suction pump; its muscular walls draw in food. In the pharynx, the pharyngeal glands secrete mucus. Food moves into the esophagus, where calcium (from the blood and ingested from previous meals) is pumped in to maintain proper blood calcium levels in the blood and food pH. From there the food passes into the crop and gizzard. In the gizzard, strong muscular contractions grind the food with the help of mineral particles ingested along with the food. Once through the gizzard, food continues through the intestine for digestion. The intestine secretes Pepsin to digest proteins, Amylase to digest polysaccharides, Cellulase to digest cellulose, and lipase to digest fats. Earthworms use, in addition to the digestive proteins, a class of surface active compounds called drilodefensins, which help digest plant material. Instead of being coiled like a mammalian intestine, an earthworm's intestine increases surface area to increase nutrient absorption by having many folds running along its length. The intestine has its own pair of muscle layers like the body, but in reverse order—an inner circular layer within an outer longitudinal layer.
The earthworm has a dual circulatory system in which both the coelomic fluid and a closed circulatory system carry the food, waste, and respiratory gases. The closed circulatory system has five main blood vessels: the dorsal (top) vessel, which runs above the digestive tract; the ventral (bottom) vessel, which runs below the digestive tract; the subneural vessel, which runs below the ventral nerve cord; and two lateroneural vessels on either side of the nerve cord. The dorsal vessel moves the blood forward, while the other four longitudinal vessels carry the blood rearward. In segments seven through eleven, a pair of aortic arches rings the coelom and acts as hearts, pumping the blood to the ventral vessel that acts as the aorta. The blood consists of ameboid cells and hemoglobin dissolved in the plasma. The second circulatory system derives from the cells of the digestive system that line the coelom. As the digestive cells become full, they release non-living cells of fat into the fluid-filled coelom, where they float freely but can pass through the walls separating each segment, moving food to other parts and assist in wound healing.
The excretory system contains a pair of nephridia in every segment, except for the first three and the last ones. The three types of nephridia are: integumentary, septal, and pharyngeal. The integumentary nephridia lie attached to the inner side of the body wall in all segments except the first two. The septal nephridia are attached to both sides of the septa behind the 15th segment. The pharyngeal nephridia are attached to fourth, fifth and sixth segments. The waste in the coelom fluid from a forward segment is drawn in by the beating of cilia of the nephrostome. From there it is carried through the septum (wall) via a tube which forms a series of loops entwined by blood capillaries that also transfer waste into the tubule of the nephrostome. The excretory wastes are then finally discharged through a pore on the worm's side.
Earthworms have no special respiratory organs. Gases are exchanged through the moist skin and capillaries, where the oxygen is picked up by the hemoglobin dissolved in the blood plasma and carbon dioxide is released. Water, as well as salts, can also be moved through the skin by active transport.
At birth, earthworms emerge small but fully formed, only lacking their sex structures which develop in about 60 to 90 days. They attain full size in about one year. Scientists predict that the average lifespan under field conditions is four to eight years, while most garden varieties live only one to two years.
Among lumbricid earthworms, parthenogenesis arose from sexual relatives many times. Parthenogenesis in some Aporrectodea trapezoides lineages arose 6.4 to 1.1 million years ago from sexual ancestors.
Mating occurs on the surface, most often at night. Earthworms are hermaphrodites; that is, they have both male and female sexual organs. The sexual organs are located in segments 9 to 15. Earthworms have one or two pairs of testes contained within sacs. The two or four pairs of seminal vesicles produce, store and release the sperm via the male pores. Ovaries and oviducts in segment 13 release eggs via female pores on segment 14, while sperm is expelled from segment 15. One or more pairs of spermathecae are present in segments 9 and 10 (depending on the species) which are internal sacs that receive and store sperm from the other worm during copulation. As a result, segment 15 of one worm exudes sperm into segments 9 and 10 with its storage vesicles of its mate. Some species use external spermatophores for sperm transfer.
In Hormogaster samnitica and Hormogaster elisae transcriptome DNA libraries were sequenced and two sex pheromones, Attractin and Temptin, were detected in all tissue samples of both species. Sex pheromones are probably important in earthworms because they live in an environment where chemical signaling may play a crucial role in attracting a partner and in facilitating outcrossing. Outcrossing would provide the benefit of masking the expression of deleterious recessive mutations in progeny. (Also see complemenation.)
Copulation and reproduction are separate processes in earthworms. The mating pair overlap front ends ventrally and each exchanges sperm with the other. The clitellum becomes very reddish to pinkish in color. Some time after copulation, long after the worms have separated, the clitellum (behind the spermathecae) secretes material which forms a ring around the worm. The worm then backs out of the ring, and as it does so, it injects its own eggs and the other worm's sperm into it. As the worm slips out of the ring, the ends of the cocoon seal to form a vaguely onion-shaped incubator (cocoon) in which the embryonic worms develop.
Earthworms travel underground by the means of waves of muscular contractions which alternately shorten and lengthen the body (peristalsis). The shortened part is anchored to the surrounding soil by tiny claw-like bristles (setae) set along its segmented length. In all the body segments except the first, last and clitellum, there is a ring of S-shaped setae embedded in the epidermal pit of each segment (perichaetine). The whole burrowing process is aided by the secretion of lubricating mucus. Worms can make gurgling noises underground when disturbed as a result of their movement through their lubricated tunnels. Earthworms move through soil by expanding crevices with force; when forces are measured according to body weight, hatchlings can push 500 times their own body weight whereas large adults can push only 10 times their own body weight.
Earthworms have the ability to regenerate lost segments, but this ability varies between species and depends on the extent of the damage. Stephenson (1930) devoted a chapter of his monograph to this topic, while G.E. Gates spent 20 years studying regeneration in a variety of species, but “because little interest was shown”, Gates (1972) only published a few of his findings that, nevertheless, show it is theoretically possible to grow two whole worms from a bisected specimen in certain species. Gates’s reports included:
An unidentified Tasmanian earthworm shown growing a replacement head has been reported.
Within the world of taxonomy, the stable 'Classical System' of Michaelsen (1900) and Stephenson (1930) was gradually eroded by the controversy over how to classify earthworms, such that Fender and McKey-Fender (1990) went so far as to say, "The family-level classification of the megascolecid earthworms is in chaos." Over the years, many scientists have developed their own classification systems for earthworms, which led to confusion, and these systems have been and still continue to be revised and updated. The classification system used here which was developed by Blakemore (2000), is a modern reversion to the Classical System that is historically proven and widely accepted.
Categorization of a megadrile earthworm into one of its taxonomic families under suborders Lumbricina and Moniligastrida is based on such features as the makeup of the clitellum, the location and disposition of the sex features (pores, prostatic glands, etc.), number of gizzards, and body shape. Currently, over 6,000 species of terrestrial earthworms are named, as provided in a species name database, but the number of synonyms is unknown.
The families, with their known distributions or origins:
From a total of around 7,000 species, only about 150 species are widely distributed around the world. These are the peregrine or cosmopolitan earthworms.
Earthworms are classified into three main ecophysiological categories: (1) leaf litter- or compost-dwelling worms that are nonburrowing, live at soil-litter interface and eat decomposing organic matter (called Epigeic) e.g. Eisenia fetida; (2) topsoil- or subsoil-dwelling worms that feed (on soil), burrow and cast within soil, creating horizontal burrows in upper 10–30 cm of soil (called Endogeics); and (3) worms that construct permanent deep vertical burrows which they use to visit the surface to obtain plant material for food, such as leaves (called Anecic (meaning "reaching up")), e.g. Lumbricus terrestris.
Earthworm populations depend on both physical and chemical properties of the soil, such as temperature, moisture, pH, salts, aeration, and texture, as well as available food, and the ability of the species to reproduce and disperse. One of the most important environmental factors is pH, but earthworms vary in their preferences. Most favor neutral to slightly acidic soils. Lumbricus terrestris is still present in a pH of 5.4 and Dendrobaena octaedra at a pH of 4.3 and some Megascolecidae are present in extremely acidic humic soils. Soil pH may also influence the numbers of worms that go into diapause. The more acidic the soil, the sooner worms go into diapause and the longer they remain in diapause at a pH of 6.4.
Earthworms are preyed upon by many species of birds (e.g. starlings, thrushes, gulls, crows), snakes, mammals (e.g. bears, foxes, hedgehogs, pigs, moles) and invertebrates (e.g. ground beetles and other beetles, snails, slugs). Earthworms have many internal parasites, including protozoa, platyhelminthes, and nematodes; they can be found in the worms' blood, seminal vesicles, coelom, or intestine, or in their cocoons.
Nitrogenous fertilizers tend to create acidic conditions, which are fatal to the worms, and dead specimens are often found on the surface following the application of substances such as DDT, lime sulphur, and lead arsenate. In Australia, changes in farming practices such as the application of superphosphates on pastures and a switch from pastoral farming to arable farming had a devastating effect on populations of the giant Gippsland earthworm, leading to their classification as a protected species. Globally, certain earthworms populations have been devastated by deviation from organic production and the spraying of synthetic fertilizers and biocides with at least three species now listed as extinct but many more endangered.
Vermicomposting of all organic "wastes" and addition of this organic matter, preferably as a surface mulch , on a regular basis will provide earthworms with their food and nutrient requirements, and will create the optimum conditions of temperature and moisture that will naturally stimulate their activity.
This earthworm activity aerates and mixes the soil, and is conducive to mineralization of nutrients and their uptake by vegetation. Certain species of earthworm come to the surface and graze on the higher concentrations of organic matter present there, mixing it with the mineral soil. Because a high level of organic matter mixing is associated with soil fertility, an abundance of earthworms is generally considered beneficial by farmers and gardeners. As long ago as 1881 Charles Darwin wrote: "It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world, as have these lowly organized creatures."
Also, while, as the name suggests, the main habitat of earthworms is in soil, they are not restricted to this habitat. The brandling worm Eisenia fetida lives in decaying plant matter and manure. Arctiostrotus vancouverensis from Vancouver Island and the Olympic Peninsula is generally found in decaying conifer logs. Aporrectodea limicola, Sparganophilus spp., and several others are found in mud in streams. Some species are arboreal, some aquatic and some euryhaline (salt-water tolerant) and littoral (living on the sea-shore, e.g. Pontodrilus litoralis). Even in the soil species, special habitats, such as soils derived from serpentine, have an earthworm fauna of their own.
The major benefits of earthworm activities to soil fertility for agriculture can be summarized as:
Earthworms accelerate nutrient cycling in the soil-plant system through fragmentation & mixing of plant debris – physical grinding & chemical digestion. The earthworm's existence cannot be taken for granted. Dr. W. E. Shewell-Cooper observed "tremendous numerical differences between adjacent gardens", and worm populations are affected by a host of environmental factors, many of which can be influenced by good management practices on the part of the gardener or farmer.
Darwin estimated that arable land contains up to 53,000 worms per acre (13/m2), but more recent research has produced figures suggesting that even poor soil may support 250,000/acre (62/m2), whilst rich fertile farmland may have up to 1,750,000/acre (432/m2), meaning that the weight of earthworms beneath a farmer's soil could be greater than that of the livestock upon its surface. Richly organic topsoil populations of earthworms are much higher – averaging 500 worms m−2 and up to 400 gm−2 – such that, for the 7 billion of us, each person alive today has support of 7 million earthworms.
The ability to break down organic materials and excrete concentrated nutrients makes the earthworm a functional contributor in restoration projects. In response to ecosystem disturbances, some sites have utilized earthworms to prepare soil for the return of native flora. Research from the Station d'écologie Tropicale de Lamto asserts that the earthworms positively influence the rate of macroaggregate formation, an important feature for soil structure. The stability of aggregates in response to water was also found to be improved when constructed by earthworms.
Earthworms are not native to North America. Their abundance in most of it, introduced from sources such as transplanted soil, has had drastic environmental impacts. Many species, notably American robin, have adapted to feed on earthworms. Where earthworms are present, the fluffy duff layer of slowly decaying leaves is eliminated. This favors the growth of Eurasian species over natives. Earthworms have been named as a factor in the mesophycation and general decline of Eastern forests.
While earthworms have become ubiquitous in North America, some refuges absent of them remain. There is still motivation to prevent their spread in infested areas because new species can have even worse impacts.
Various species of worms are used in vermiculture, the practice of feeding organic waste to earthworms to decompose food waste. These are usually Eisenia fetida (or its close relative Eisenia andrei) or the Brandling worm, commonly known as the tiger worm or red wiggler. They are distinct from soil-dwelling earthworms. In the tropics, the African nightcrawler Eudrilus eugeniae  and the Indian blue Perionyx excavatus are used.
Earthworms are sold all over the world; the market is sizable. According to Doug Collicut, "In 1980, 370 million worms were exported from Canada, with a Canadian export value of $13 million and an American retail value of $54 million."
Earthworms provide excellent protein for fish, fowl and pigs but were also used traditionally for human consumption. Noke is a culinary term used by the Māori of New Zealand, and refers to earthworms which are considered delicacies for their chiefs.
Douglas Richard TenNapel (; born July 10, 1966) American animator, writer, cartoonist, video game designer, and comic book artist whose work has encompassed animated television, video games, and comic books. He is best known for creating Earthworm Jim, a character that spawned a video game series, cartoon show, and a toy line.Earthworm Jim
Earthworm Jim is a series of side-scrolling platforming video games, the first game of which was released in 1994. The series is noted for its platforming and shooting gameplay, surrealist humor, and edgy art style. Four games were released in the series: Earthworm Jim, Earthworm Jim 2, Earthworm Jim 3D, and Earthworm Jim: Menace 2 the Galaxy. The series lay dormant for almost a decade before Gameloft remade the original game in HD for PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade in 2010. Interplay announced Earthworm Jim 4 in 2008, but little has surfaced since.Earthworm Jim (TV series)
Earthworm Jim is an American animated television series based on the video game with the same name, which has appeared on Kids' WB for two seasons from September 9, 1995 to December 13, 1996. The series follows the adventures of an earthworm named Jim who is turned into a superhero by a robotic super suit.Earthworm Jim (video game)
Earthworm Jim is a 1994 run and gun platform game developed by Shiny Entertainment, featuring an earthworm named Jim, who wears a robotic suit and battles evil. The game was released for the Sega Genesis, and subsequently ported to a number of other video game consoles.
It was well received by critics, and received a sequel, Earthworm Jim 2, in 1995. In 2010, Gameloft developed and released a high definition remake for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, titled Earthworm Jim HD.
In February 2018, Gameloft's contract with Interplay ended, so Earthworm Jim HD as well as the Nintendo DSi , Wii and Windows Phone ports were removed from digital stores.Earthworm Jim 2
Earthworm Jim 2 is a run and gun platform video game starring an earthworm named Jim in a robotic suit who battles evil. It is a sequel to the original Earthworm Jim, and the second and final game in the Earthworm Jim series developed by original creators Doug TenNapel, David Perry, and Shiny Entertainment. It was released in late 1995 and early 1996 depending on region and video game console, initially being released for the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo, before being ported to other consoles.Earthworm Jim 3D
Earthworm Jim 3D is a platform game, the third in the Earthworm Jim series. It is a sequel to Earthworm Jim and Earthworm Jim 2, and the first game in the series to not be developed by Shiny Entertainment, which had recently instituted a strict "no sequels" policy. Interplay Entertainment, having recently purchased the Earthworm Jim rights, handed the franchise off to VIS Interactive. The game suffered a difficult, prolonged development cycle and was repeatedly delayed until it was released in 1999 for the Nintendo 64 and Microsoft Windows. The game was not received well, with critics claiming that the charm of the originals was lost, and that despite the long development period, the game still felt sloppy and lacked previously promoted features.Earthworm Tractors
Earthworm Tractors is a 1936 American film directed by Ray Enright and starring Joe E. Brown and June Travis. The film is also known as A Natural Born Salesman in the United Kingdom.
The film is based on characters created by William Hazlett Upson in a series of stories that appeared in The Saturday Evening Post. The series featured Alexander Botts, a natural-born salesman, and the Earthworm Tractor Company, and was inspired in part by Upson's actual work experience with the Caterpillar Tractor Company.Eisenia fetida
Eisenia fetida (older spelling: foetida), known under various common names such as redworm, brandling worm, panfish worm, trout worm, tiger worm, red wiggler worm, red Californian earthworm, etc., is a species of earthworm adapted to decaying organic material. These worms thrive in rotting vegetation, compost, and manure. They are epigean, rarely found in soil. In this trait, they resemble Lumbricus rubellus.
They have groups of bristles (called setae) on each segment that move in and out to grip nearby surfaces as the worms stretch and contract their muscles to push themselves forward or backward.
E. fetida worms are used for vermicomposting of both domestic and industrial organic waste. They are native to Europe, but have been introduced (both intentionally and unintentionally) to every other continent except Antarctica. Tiger worms are also being tested for use in a flushless toilet, currently being trialled in India, Uganda and Myanmar.Giant Gippsland earthworm
The giant Gippsland earthworm, Megascolides australis, is one of Australia's 1,000 native earthworm species. It is also commonly known as karmai, taken from the Bunwurrung language.Giant Palouse earthworm
The giant Palouse earthworm or Washington giant earthworm (Driloleirus americanus, meaning lily-like worm) is a species of earthworm belonging to the genus Driloleirus inhabiting the Palouse region of Eastern Washington and North Idaho, in the United States. The worm was discovered in 1897 by Frank Smith near Pullman, Washington. It can burrow to a depth of 15 feet (4.6 m).Although it had been thought to be extinct in the 1980s, recent evidence has demonstrated that the species is still living. The latest sighting included recovery of two specimens, an adult and a juvenile, which were unearthed on March 27, 2010 by scientists at the University of Idaho including Samuel James.LPG (American band)
LPG is an American Christian hip-hop duo from Los Angeles, California, and part of the underground hip hop collective Tunnel Rats. Their name was understood to stand for "Lord's Personal Gangsters", but now is "Living Proof of Grace". They released their first album:the earthworm in 1995,an album well known as a landmark for Christian hip-hop, on Brainstorm Artists International.Lake Pedder earthworm
The Lake Pedder earthworm (Hypolimnus pedderensis) was an earthworm species in the family Megascolecidae. Its genus Hypolimnus is monotypic.
It was endemic to the Lake Pedder area in Tasmania, Australia, prior to its flooding in 1972 for a hydro-electric power scheme.
It is only known from a specimen collected from a Lake Pedder beach in 1971. A 1996 survey failed to find it and it is presumed extinct.Lumbricus terrestris
Lumbricus terrestris is a large, reddish worm species widely distributed around the world (along with several other lumbricids). In some areas where it is an introduced species, some people consider it a serious pest for outcompeting native worms. It has an unusual habit of copulating on the surface at night, which makes it more visible than most other earthworms.
Through much of Europe, it is the largest naturally occurring species of earthworm, typically reaching 20–25 cm in length when extended (though in parts of southern Europe, the native species are much larger). In September 2012, a specimen was found in SW China measuring roughly 50 cm in length. In May 2016 a worm was found that was about 61 cm long.Marvel Absurd
Marvel Absurd was a Marvel Comics imprint under which comics based on Ren & Stimpy, Earthworm Jim and Beavis and Butt-Head were published.OPAL Soil Centre
The OPAL Soil Centre is one of five centres of expertise under the Open Air Laboratories Network (OPAL). The OPAL Soil Centre is based at the Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial College London. The OPAL Soil Centre has high-profile partners including the Environment Agency, British Geological Survey, and the Natural History Museum.Peristalsis
Peristalsis is a radially symmetrical contraction and relaxation of muscles that propagates in a wave down a tube, in an anterograde direction.
In much of a digestive tract such as the human gastrointestinal tract, smooth muscle tissue contracts in sequence to produce a peristaltic wave, which propels a ball of food (called a bolus while in the esophagus and upper gastrointestinal tract and chyme in the stomach) along the tract. Peristaltic movement comprises relaxation of circular smooth muscles, then their contraction behind the chewed material to keep it from moving backward, then longitudinal contraction to push it forward.
Earthworms use a similar mechanism to drive their locomotion, and some modern machinery imitates this design.
The word comes from New Latin and is derived from the Greek peristellein, "to wrap around," from peri-, "around" + stellein, "draw in, bring together; set in order".Shiny Entertainment
Shiny Entertainment, Inc. was an American video game developer based in Laguna Beach, California. Founded in October 1993 by David Perry, Shiny was the creator of several successful video games, such as Earthworm Jim, MDK and Enter the Matrix. Perry sold the company to Interplay Productions in 1995, which sold the studio to Infogrames, Inc. in 2002. After Foundation 9 Entertainment acquired Shiny in 2006, the company was merged with The Collective in October 2007, creating Double Helix Games.Vermicompost
Vermicompost (vermi-compost, vermiculture) is the product of the composting process using various species of worms, usually red wigglers, white worms, and other earthworms, to create a mixture of decomposing vegetable or food waste, bedding materials, and vermicast.
Vermicast (also called worm castings, worm humus, worm manure, or worm feces) is the end-product of the breakdown of organic matter by earthworms. These castings have been shown to contain reduced levels of contaminants and a higher saturation of nutrients than the organic materials before vermicomposting.Vermicompost contains water-soluble nutrients and is an excellent, nutrient-rich organic fertilizer and soil conditioner. It is used in farming and small scale sustainable, organic farming.
Vermicomposting can also be applied for treatment of sewage. A variation of the process is vermifiltration (or vermidigestion) which is used to remove organic matter, pathogens and oxygen demand from wastewater or directly from blackwater of flush toilets.Worm
Worms are many different distantly related animals that typically have a long cylindrical tube-like body and no limbs. Worms vary in size from microscopic to over 1 metre (3.3 ft) in length for marine polychaete worms (bristle worms), 6.7 metres (22 ft) for the African giant earthworm, Microchaetus rappi, and 58 metres (190 ft) for the marine nemertean worm (bootlace worm), Lineus longissimus. Various types of worm occupy a small variety of parasitic niches, living inside the bodies of other animals. Free-living worm species do not live on land, but instead, live in marine or freshwater environments, or underground by burrowing.
In biology, "worm" refers to an obsolete taxon, vermes, used by Carolus Linnaeus and Jean-Baptiste Lamarck for all non-arthropod invertebrate animals, now seen to be paraphyletic. The name stems from the Old English word wyrm. Most animals called "worms" are invertebrates, but the term is also used for the amphibian caecilians and the slowworm Anguis, a legless burrowing lizard. Invertebrate animals commonly called "worms" include annelids (earthworms and marine polychaete or bristle worms), nematodes (roundworms), platyhelminthes (flatworms), marine nemertean worms ("bootlace worms"), marine Chaetognatha (arrow worms), priapulid worms, and insect larvae such as grubs and maggots.
Worms may also be called helminths, particularly in medical terminology when referring to parasitic worms, especially the Nematoda (roundworms) and Cestoda (tapeworms) which reside in the intestines of their host. When an animal or human is said to "have worms", it means that it is infested with parasitic worms, typically roundworms or tapeworms. Lungworm is also a common parasitic worm found in various animal species such as fish and cats.