Children’s corner

Hi Children
Welcome to my page!!!
Do you know who I am? No?
Ok, here we go!!! I am very happy to tell you about me and my coleauges?

My name is ‘’ Edel Mark’’ I am living usually in the soil and I am not harmful but friendly to everyone, especially with children. We, the composting earth worms , are relatively long, measuring about 10cm. We have a soft and a segmented body.

If you carefully look at or around our body, you will see a lot of ring like structures around our entire body. These rings are known as segments that can be between 120 and 170 in number. Our mouth is just on the first segment whereas our anus at the last segment.

Please do not afraid of us to touch, when you touch us, you should notice that we are a little bit wet or slimy. It doesn’t mean that we need a shower, our skin is supposed to feel like that. But you should never forget that we need moisture to survive.

We all don’t have legs but instead we are covered with hair like structures (or bristles) that help us to move from place to place. We do not have lung but we breathe through our skin, which must remain moist to absorb oxygen from the air. Is it not wonderful to hear that we can breathe without a lung and a nose? You breath through your lungs. Your lungs take in oxygen and give off carbon dioxide.

We have no eyes but we can feel the difference between darkness and light. We have sensors in our bodies that can let us identify between the dark and the light. We do not like light and we are very sensitive to strong light.

Do you have an idea that our ancestors existed for about 600 million years? In the whole world, we are about 5,000 different types and many of our relatives are so small that you wouldn’t be able to see without a microscope!

We are hermaphrodite, which means we have (one earth worm has) both male and female reproductive cells. However, each of us needs another partner (earth worm) to reproduce with though. After mating, we lay our eggs and role our eggs in a structure known as cocoon. Our eggs (for the composting worms) hatch as little worms after three weeks. Our cocoons are light yellow in color and smaller than the size of a grain rice.

Each cocoon can have about 1 to 5 young worms. If conditions are not good for hatching, our cocoons can be dormant for years and hatch when conditions are right. Our babies will hatch in 2 to 3 weeks if the conditions are right. The color of our babies is light (white), and practically it is possible to see through them. Our babies are about 1/2 inch long when they are hatched and will be on their own as soon as they are hatched. After about six weeks, they will be adult and start producing their own babies.

We have some relatives who can live for up to 10 years, but we (the composting worms) can live up to 5 years.

Do you know what we love to eat?

We like to eat the food waste that you are throwing away. Actually, our mouth is very small as compared to yours but we have a mouth which is big enough to eat very tiny things like bacteria, fungi, and protozoa (which you could not see without microscope) and grab food waste or other organic matter like plants and decaying animals. But you humans also eat dead animals and bird. Is it not children?

We cannot chew food like you do since we have no any teeth. However, we have what is known as a gizzard like birds where the foodwe are eating pushed against each other, mix with moisture and grind the food in to tiny pieces.

By the way, we (the composting worms) eat almost any organic waste which weights equivalent amount to our own weight per day. For that reason we excrete almost the same amount castings daily. You, the human beings, use our excreta to make compost and enrich your soil for growing vegetables and other plants.

Don’t you know that we are known to be a gardener’s best friends? Some people even keep us as pets, feeding us on kitchen scraps so we can make them lots of lovely compost for their gardens. Is it not fantastic?

Do you know some interesting facts about us (the earthworms)?

We are about 1,000 times stronger than you (This is a relatively speaking! You can assume that if we have your size or you have our size).

We have relatives that are more than 3m long. Bu the smallest relative we have measure only cm
We are tough little creatures. If we are accidentally cut in half for some reason, only half will die but our other part survives. Our piece with the saddle (the fatter, pink part) will survive. When it’s really cold outside in the winter or very hot in the summer, we are able to survive by burrowing deep into the soil – at the same time escaping from light, which we hate.