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Earthworm Anatomy Earthworm Classification • Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Annelida Class: Oligochaeta Order: Abranchiata Family: Lumbricidae Genus: Lumbricus Species: terrestris Vocaulary •Dorsal-top side •Ventral-bottom side vocabulary • Anterior- head end • Posterior- tail end • If you look at my body under a magnifying glass, you will see a lot of little rings across my entire body . . . These rings are called segments. • When I am all grown up, I will have 100-175 segments. On the first segment is my mouth and on the last segment is my anus—sort of like the beginning and the end. • At the very tip of my head (that's the anterior, remember), you will see a flap of skin that hangs over my mouth. It is called the prostomium. It keeps stuff I don't like from getting into my mouth. • Right under the prostomium is my mouth. I have a pretty big mouth for a worm. It's big enough to grab a leaf and drag it around. How does an earthworm move? • Muscles expand and contract to help the earthworm move • If you look really, really closely at each segment, you will see something that looks like a bunch of small hairs or bristles. These bristles are called setae (pronounced see-tee) and they help me move. I have four pairs of these bristly hairs on each ring or segment. Clitellum • Forms a cocoon into which eggs are deposited during reproduction Digestive System • One way digestive system with a mouth and an anus • Has tubes that remove waste in each segment • Droppings (called castings) help to fertilize the soil Mouth Pharynx - aids in swallowing food Esophagus- carries food to the crop Crop – temporarily stores food; the walls of the crop are thin and soft • Since I have no teeth, I cannot really chew my food like you do. I do have something inside of me close to my mouth called a gizzard. You might have heard this word before because birds, including chickens and turkeys, have a gizzard almost like mine. As I eat my food some grains of sand and soil get into my gizzard. These grains of sand and soil push against each other, mix with moisture and grind the food into tiny pieces (kind of like my own personal food processor). • When the food leaves my gizzard, it goes into my intestine. The food is dissolved there and absorbed into my blood. Then it is carried to all parts of my body to keep me strong, healthy and slimy. Gizzard – grinds food with soil; gizzard is tough, thick, and muscular Intestines – where nutrients are absorbed Anus- where waste passes out of the Earthworm’s body Reproduction • When mating, another worm and I join together with heads pointing in opposite directions. Sperm is passed from one worm to the other and stored in sacs. Then a cocoon forms on each of us on our clitellum. As we back out of the narrowing cocoons, eggs and sperm are deposited in the cocoon. • When I am a few weeks old you will notice a light-colored band forming near my front end. This is my clitellum. My clitellum will someday help to form cocoons. New baby worms will hatch from the cocoons and I will have a family. Clitellum Seminal Vesicles – male reproductive organs Ovaries - female reproductive organs Circulatory System • Closed circulatory system • Blood moves within a connected network of blood vessels, as opposed to an open circulatory system where blood sloshes around inside the body (like in insects) • Closed moves blood more quickly • Pumps blood through 5 aortic arches to the lower part. • I have five hearts! All of these hearts pump blood through my blood vessels just like your one heart. Dorsal Blood Vessel Aortic Arches (hearts) Ventral blood vessel Nervous System • Knot of nerves in head called ganglia make up the brain • Parallel nerve cords that runs the length of the body Ventral Nerve Cord Respiratory System Worms do not have lungs but I breathe through my skin. I take in oxygen through my skin and it goes right into my bloodstream. My skin must stay wet in order for the oxygen to pass through it, but if I am in too much water I will drown. Just keep me damp, moist and slimy.