I was once doing a children’s program in the forest, looking at critters underneath a fallen tree that we had rolled over. The first animal many of the class noticed were the earthworms stunned by the sudden light that flooded their normally black space. We picked one up, looking at it as it jerked around, struggling to find darkness again. One child asked about the thick section at one end, wondering if that meant it was a girl or boy earthworm… hence last week’s puzzler. Do you know the answer?
If you know anything about earthworms, you probably knew right away that this is a trick question. Sorry! There is no such thing as a female earthworm or a male earthworm. Instead, each earthworm is a hermaphrodite, meaning that they possess both male and female reproductive organs.
The wide band about 1/3rd of the way along the earthworm’s body is called the clitellum. Do you know what it’s for? Which end is the mouth? Do you know how many hearts earthworms have or how they get oxygen since they have no lungs? Do you know the role they play in the environment? These questions and more will be answered as the Earthworm will be next week’s Creature Feature. Check back next week to learn 10 things you may not know about Earthworms. Until then, enjoy the next Weekly Puzzler.