Monday, November 19, 2007

Q: Why do worms go onto the sidewalk when it rains?

EarthwormA:  Most people assume that earthworms come to the surface during heavy rains to avoid drowning in their tunnels.  In fact, worms can live totally submerged in water, so drowning isn’t the problem.  But the rainwater that filters down through the ground contains very little oxygen, so the real reason earthworms come to the surface is to breathe.


Once above ground, earthworms are very sensitive to light, and even a brief exposure to the sun’s rays can paralyze them.  Unable to crawl back into their burrows, they eventually dry out and die on the sidewalk.


via Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader

3 comments:

dumas said...

I don't see the difference. They come up to breathe -- basically the same as to avoid drowning, as the result of drowning is death from not being able to breathe.

Anonymous said...

you make a good point dumas...

Anonymous said...

I would have to agree with dumas!