Q:

How do earthworms breathe?

A:

Quick Answer

Earthworms breathe air through their skin, which diffuses oxygen from the surrounding environment. Moisture is vital for the earthworm, as it allows oxygen to be retained while carbon dioxide is expelled. The mucus secreted by the earthworm's skin assists in preventing desiccation, a state of extreme dryness.

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Full Answer

Earthworms vary in size by species. Some species measure less than half of an inch in length, while others can grow to nearly 10 feet long. All earthworms are hermaphroditic and reproduce sexually. Earthworms are extremely beneficial to soil quality due to their burrowing and their consumption of dead organic material. The earthworm's importance in ecology also extends to its place in the food chain, where many other animals depend upon it for sustenance.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where do earthworms live?

    A:

    Earthworms are native to Europe and have spread in range to western and central Asia, as well as North America. They typically can be found in two ecophysical areas: above or below the soil. Above-soil earthworms consume decaying vegetable matter. Sub-soil earthworms create either horizontal or vertical burrows.

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  • Q:

    Do earthworms have brains?

    A:

    Earthworms have brains. These brains are connected to the nerves in the skin and the muscles, allowing them to feel, move and function properly.

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  • Q:

    How do earthworms reproduce?

    A:

    Earthworms reproduce through a unique copulation process whereby two worms line up against each other and excrete a type of mucous that forms a layer that encapsulate their bodies. Both worms release sperm into the mucous. After various other processes are completed, the sperm reaches the sperm receptacles on the opposite worm.

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  • Q:

    How do earthworms respire?

    A:

    Worms do not have lungs, but they have developed a way to breathe by drawing oxygen directly into their circulatory systems. When a worm is moist, it absorbs air through its mucus-coasted skin by dissolving it.

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