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Jul 14 2014

Giant, 10-foot earthworm found!

Earthworms are creepy crawlers that give many people the chills upon sight of them. Burrowing deep in the earth and feeding off the remains of the dead, these creatures are amazingly simple. Many people would be surprised to hear that there are earthworms that are nearly 10 feet in length! Many countries around the world are home to these beastly worms.

man and worm

It is amazing how large they grow because there is so little to them. They have a digestive system that runs from their mouth to anus and two ganglia that enable their senses. They breathe through their skin and are all hermaphroditic.

worm and hand

One species of giant earthworm, called the Giant Gippsland Earthworm is found in Victoria, Australia. With an average length of at least 1 meter to grow up to 3, these worms are longer than many snakes! They live in deep burrow systems and are a species that is currently under a threatened status, so they are rarely seen by most humans.

The Giant Gippsland Earthworm has had such a decrease in numbers as a result of farming. Some scientists contribute it to the act of tilling the land. Another contributor is that these earthworms have a slow reproductive rate, as well as maturation rate. It takes nearly five years for the worms to reach maturity, and they can live up to ten years. This is an astounding life span compared to many other invertebrates.

earthworm

These worms are greater in diameter than many species of earthworms on the planet. While most worms are only a few inches, amazingly there species of them around the world that are long enough to play jump rope with!