GardenRant Airwaves

Behold Australia’s Giant Earthworms

I was fascinated by these earthworms when I was working on The Earth Moved, but I was never able to get to Australia to see them for myself.  But–here they are!  The best moment in the video is when he holds the cocoon up to the light so that you can see the tiny worm wriggling inside. Check it out.

Posted by on September 1, 2008 at 5:25 am, in the category GardenRant Airwaves.
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7 Responses to “Behold Australia’s Giant Earthworms”

  1. Kim says:

    I didn’t know these guys existed, but how cool! Six feet long – imagine the aerating they could do in YOUR garden. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Layanee says:

    You can hear them? Very interesting.

  3. Here is more information about our run-of-the-mill earthworms:
    These segmented worms eat their way through the soil (a third of their body weight per day), creating tunnels, and leaving behind their wastes, euphemistically called castings. Earthworms aerate the soil and break down the humus. They respire through their skin and prefer damp, rich soil; they’ll seek out the best areas like under wet leaves or in your compost pile. Worms can even live in water for a few weeks. Earthworms are hermaphrodites, each having both female and male reproductive organs. If you cut an earthworm in half, only the front part has a chance of living.

    Do not import earthworms for your compost unless it is entirely contained and the worms have no way of escaping into your soil. Use only earthworms you find in your landscape for the compost pile. In some parts of the country there are too many worms and they are devouring humus at such a great rate that forested areas have become stressed.

  4. Lisa Albert says:

    Cool!!! I remember you spoke about these fascinating giant worms during your presentation at Portland’s Home & Garden Show shortly after your book was published. I did not remember that they made sounds loud enough to be heard above the ground. That’s cool *and* creepy at the same time.

    I’ve always loved worms, thanks to a kindergarten friend who liked to “rescue” earthworms from rain puddles. Her mom wasn’t so keen on the habit since Cathy forgot to release them from the depths of her rain coat pockets. Dead earthworms in plastic rain coats’ pockets get very stinky after a few days in the coat closet.

  5. Benjamin says:

    Best GR post ever. A naturalist’s wet dream. I wonder how long it’d take a dozen of these guys to fix my garden soil….

  6. GH says:

    We have one in our area (pacific northwest), too:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_Palouse_earthworm

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