Posts tagged ‘Worms’

What is the smallest mammal?

Shrew

The smallest mammal in the world is the shrew.  The tiniest member of the shrew family, the Mediterranean shrew, is about as long as your little finger and weighs less than a penny!  Shrews live in most parts of the world.

If you see a shrew in a field or garden, you might mistake it for a mouse until you spot its long, sharp nose.  These active animals are almost always hungry.  They must eat more than their own weight in insects, worms, and snails each day just to stay alive.  Their sharp teeth make it easy for them to kill and eat their prey.–Dick Rogers

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How does the earthworm dig its hole?

Earthworm

Earthworms are worms that live in warm and moist places throughout the world.

As anyone can guess from their name, earthworms live in the ground.  The earthworm digs its burrow by actually eating its way through the soil.

As the worm digs, it swallows the dirt and digests the decaying plant and food matter in the dirt.

The soil passes through the earthworm’s long body and is left on the ground in little heaps of dirt balls, called castings.  Thus the earthworm makes a home for itself and gets its meals at the same time.

Earthworms are good friends to farmers and gardeners.  By digging burrows, earthworms leave tiny holes in the ground which make it easy for air and water to get to plant roots.

The castings of the worms help keep the soil rich for growing plants.

The earthworm is sometimes called an angleworm or fishworm, because it is a popular bait used by fishermen. – Dick Rogers

What is a shrew?

You might call a mouse small, but a tiny creature knows and a shrew may be much smaller.  In fact, shrews are among the tiniest mammals on earth.

Shrew are furry animals that look much like a mice, except for their long, pointed noses, which they use to explore cracks and crevices for food.

Shrew

Some kinds of shrews are only two to three inches long and weight about as much as a penny, while the largest ones may be the size of small rats.

Shrews make their homes in grassy fields, woodlands, gardens and marshes.  They are often mistaken for mice because of their small size.

But for all its small size, a shrew is a big eater and spends almost all its life in a never-ending hunt for food.

It must eat nearly twice its own weight in insects and worms each day to keep up its supply of energy.

Shrews are useful in gardens and farms.  They get rid of pests that destroy drops.– Dick Rogers

 

What is a duck-billed platypus?

It would be hard to find a stronger creature in the world than the duck-billed platypus that lives in Australia and Tasmania.  It is also the strangest creature.

What makes this “impossible” creature so odd is that it has a bill like a duck, where most other mammals have noses and lips.  It has the soft thick fur of a mole, and a paddle-shaped tall like a beaver.

Duck Billed-Platypus

It has webbed feet, too, and it lays eggs and hatches them like a chicken.  But after the eggs have hatched, the mother platypus nurses her babies with milk as do other mammals.

A fully grown duckbill may be nearly two feet long counting its tail, and weight 6 pounds.  This shy creature spend most of the day hiding in a grass-lined den, deep in some mud bank.

Like beavers, platypuses live in streams and ponds.  they do not build dams, but dig deep tunnels far into the bank, from under water.  The long upward-sloping tunnel leads to the “living room.”

The shy platypus is seldom seen.  it hides deep in its burrow by day.  It comes out at night to hunt for worms, snails, and other small water creatures which it digs up which it finds by stirring the muddy stream bottom of the pond with its rubbery bill. – Dick Rogers

What is a leech?

Leech

Some swamps and ponds contain leeches, worms that can cling to fishes, animals and ever to persons.  Leeches may grow from ½-inch to 4 or more inches long.

Like many worms, they have soft, flat bodies divided into segments.  On the leech’s head is a sucker like mouth equipped with three saw-shaped teeth.  A second sucker is located at the hind end of the leech.

The leech attaches itself to the host by means of its suckers.  Then, with the mouth sucker, it sucks up the blood through three little holes which it makes in the skin with its sharp teeth.

In a single meal a leech may eat three times its own weight in blood.  One meal may fast several months.

Not all leeches suck blood.  Some feed instead on worms and other small animals that live in the water.  During medieval times bloodsucking leeches were used by physicians to draw blood from patients in attempts to cure them. – Dick Rogers