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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

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The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms

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The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms Cover

 

 

Excerpt

8 Bizarre Facts About Earthworms

The earthworm may be small, spineless, and blind, but its impact on the ecosystem is profound. Now, thanks to Amy Stewart, author of THE EARTH MOVED, earthworms of the world can stand a little taller.

  • Worms' ancestors date back over 250 million years. They survived two mass extinctions, including the one that killed the dinosaurs.
  • There are over 4,500 species of earth worms and many more species have not yet been identified and cataloged.
  • Worms are hermaphrodites. To mate, they line up head to tail and can stay that way for several hours.
  • If you cut a worm in half, you will not get two worms; however, the end that contains the head will usually grow a new tail.
  • Charles Darwin played the piano for worms, to see how they react to different notes. He breathed on them with various scents on his breath to see how they would react to different smells.
  • A giant earthworm in the Pacific Northwest measures two or three feet long and secretes a mucus that smells just like lilies.
  • An ordinary nightcrawler lives about five years. Giant Australian worms live over twenty years.
  • Earthworms have been used as bioindicators to identify soil pollutants. They have also been fed pollutant-degrading bacteria, which they carry far below ground in pollution clean-up projects.

    Who knew?

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mkosmal, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by mkosmal)
This is the ultimate book for worm knowledge. Very well written and full of facts.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781565124684
Author:
Stewart, Amy
Publisher:
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Ecology
Subject:
Earthworms
Subject:
Life Sciences - Zoology - Invertebrates
Subject:
NATURE / Essays
Subject:
Environmental Studies-Environment
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20050331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.08x5.52x.73 in. .59 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Home and Garden » Gardening » Composting and Mulching
Science and Mathematics » Agriculture » Nightcrawlers and Worms
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Entomology and General Invertebrates
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Reference
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Insects » Entomology
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » World Wildlife
Transportation » Aviation » Flight Instruction and Aerodynamics

The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms Used Trade Paper
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Product details 240 pages Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill - English 9781565124684 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

A blind, lungless little plow that sifts our soil a teaspoon at a time is responsible for engineering our entire ecosystem. Amy Stewart has uncovered the earthworm's purposeful cycle into a delightful read that also serves as a reminder to savor our curiosities.

"Synopsis" by , In the tradition of Michael Pollan, Mark Kurlansky and Sue Hubbell, the first single-topic natural history book on this unsung hero of our ecosystem.
"Synopsis" by , In the tradition of the bestselling book The Botany of Desire comes this fascinating exploration of the world underground and one of its most amazing denizens. The earthworm may be small, spineless, and blind, but its role in the ecosystem is profound. It tills the soil, destroys microscopic organisms that cause plant disease, breaks down toxins, and turns soil into rich compost, creating the most fertile areas on earth. In her witty and offbeat style, Amy Stewart shows just how much depends on the humble worm. The august Charles Darwin devoted his last years to the meticulous study of these creatures, admiring their remarkable achievements. It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world, as have these lowly organized creatures, he declared. With Darwin as her inspiration, Stewart weaves her own backyard investigations with those of the obsessed oligochaetologists, unearthing the complex life that exists beneath our feet. From the legendary giant Australian worm that burrows up to fifteen feet below ground to the modest nightcrawler that inspired Darwin to write his last book to Stewart's energetic red wigglers, The Earth Moved gives worms their due and exposes their hidden--and extraordinary--universe.
"Synopsis" by ,
In The Earth Moved, Amy Stewart takes us on a journey through the underground world and introduces us to one of its most amazing denizens. The earthworm may be small, spineless, and blind, but its impact on the ecosystem is profound. It ploughs the soil, fights plant diseases, cleans up pollution, and turns ordinary dirt into fertile land. Who knew?

In her witty, offbeat style, Stewart shows that much depends on the actions of the lowly worm. Charles Darwin devoted his last years to the meticulous study of these creatures, praising their remarkable abilities. With the august scientist as her inspiration, Stewart investigates the worm's subterranean realm, talks to oligochaetologists--the unsung heroes of earthworm science--who have devoted their lives to unearthing the complex life beneath our feet, and observes the thousands of worms in her own garden. From the legendary giant Australian worm that stretches to ten feet in length to the modest nightcrawler that wormed its way into the heart of Darwin's last book to the energetic red wigglers in Stewart's compost bin, The Earth Moved gives worms their due and exposes their hidden and extraordinary universe. This book is for all of us who appreciate Mother Nature's creatures, no matter how humble.

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