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> Anatomy of an Earthworm
Anatomy of an Earthworm
There are 4,400 species of worms - 2,700 different kinds of earthworms to be exact. It's hard to image something more interesting than watching an earthworm give birth or seeing his five hearts beat. Let's follow the lunch of an earthworm to see how its body works.
Pharynx: The earthworm's pharynx - or throat - is used to grab leaves and pull them back into its mouth. Then it gets them nice and wet with saliva.
Esophagus: Once the food is good and wet, it pushes the food down its esophagus, then onto its crop.
Crop: The crop is a storage compartment for food and other things an earthworm swallows. From the crop, lunch goes to the gizzard.
Gizzard: The gizzard is where the work happens. Any stones that have been swallowed and the strong muscles of the gizzard grinds up the leaves. These muscles work almost like teeth.
Intestine: Once the leaves are all ground up, they move to the intestine where the digestive juices break them down even more.
Bloodstream: Now that the leaf is all digested, some of it will pass into the bloodstream.
Anus: Whatever is leftover comes out the anus as castings or worm poop.