By Gerald Durrell
A set of brief tales through a world-renowned naturalist and writer of My family members and different Animals introduces an eccentric forged of characters together with a prize-truffling pig in France and an getting older Memphis belle.
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Unless it’s crawling backward! What and how does a worm eat? You’ve learned that worms eat decayed leaves and other plant matter. However, when there’s not enough plant material around, worms actually swallow the soil. The soil has bits of animal and plant material mixed in with little stones. This passes through their bodies into the gizzard, where it is ground up. This ﬁne pulp is then changed into tiny pellets called castings, which are eliminated from the anus. Look for these castings to locate worms.
If you have several worms, place an equal number on each towel. 4. Observe whether the worms stay on the towel they started on or move to the other one. 5. Try this experiment several times and record your results. You can devise your own chart or use one like this: Trials 1 2 3 4 5 6 Worms on wet towel Worms on dry towel Results: Where did the majority of the worms go or stay? Conclusions: In the wild, worms prefer moist habitats. Did your investigation conﬁrm this preference? If not, what do you think happened?
5. Stand the shoebox on its side and add the natural materials. Make your worm’s surroundings as scenic as you like. qxd 1/16/02 4:09 PM Page 40 6. Add your worm and display. This is one worm that isn’t slimy! ACTIVITY They All Add Up 2 The population growth rate of earthworms is amazing! Each worm can lay two to three cocoons per week, and each cocoon can have up to four worms. Try these math problems to see how many worms can multiply from just one little worm! The answers are on the bottom of the page, but don’t peek until you’ve done the math!