|MadSci Network: General Biology|
Dear T. Allison, Yes, you are absolutely right that worms do not form out of nothing. Let us leave spontaneous generation peacefully in its grave. So, where did the worms come from? First of all, if there were worms before the houses were built, a few of them may have survived the building phase. You may not have started to notice them until their population increased in size. Second, if you brought soil and plants to your garden, you probably brought worms too. Next time before you plant store-bought plants take a look at the soil they come in to see if you can find any worms. Third, worms could be transported by other means. A friend who is a professional roofer once told me that he frequently finds live worms on roof tops. Perhaps, very small juveniles are blown up by strong winds or are carried stuck to birds' feet. If they land in a permanently wet and protected spot on a roof, they survive. I once found, not a worm, but a slug crawling in the sun in the middle of a parking lot. The closest soil was about 60 feet away, but a slug could not have crawled that far on the dry pavement in the sun without drying out. I suspected that it had come there on one of the parked cars. The point is every now and then a worm or two may be brought to a place on a piece of machinery, by a strong gust of wind, or inside the lawn furniture that one may have borrowed from a friend. Enjoy the worms. They are good for the soil. Aydin
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on General Biology.