MadSci Network: General Biology

Re: how many hearts does a night crawler have?

Date: Mon Apr 30 08:02:33 2001
Posted By: Mel Williams, Staff, Education and Standards, Reading Education Centre
Area of science: General Biology
ID: 988414480.Gb

Hello Leon

Nightcrawlers (earthworms) have five "hearts", arranged in a line near 
their front end. The following information is from the Naturenorth 
website, and you might find it interesting to visit and get some more 
wormy answers.
"The body plan of an earth worm is basically a segmented tube. Each 
segment is a separate fluid-filled compartment surrounding the digestive 
tract (gut) which runs the length of the worm's body. Many of the worm's 
internal organs are also segmented, occurring as separate units in each 
segment, but there is considerable specialization in the head end of the 
worm. The "brain", "hearts" and other organs are clustered in the head 
end. Earth worms have no eyes, but they do have cells which are sensitive 
to light. They do not have ears, but can feel vibrations in the ground. 
Earth worms don't have lungs, they absorb oxygen directly through their 
moist skin, which is kept moist by mucous secreting cells. If a worm dries 
out, it will suffocate."

best wishes
Mel Williams native 
Canadian earthworms

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