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Name: Jeffrey
Status: other
Age:  other
Location: CA
Country: N/A
Date: 9/16/2005


Question:
Do earthworms come to the surface to utilize the rain for fertilization of the eggs?


Replies:
I think that earthworms surface after rain to escape saturation of the soil.

J. Elliott


Jeff,

The moiture found within the mucus secreted by the earthworm is used to facilitate the transfer of sperm between mating earthworms. This is the same secretion many people find when handling these animals. Rain is not a part of this process.

However, earthworms surface during a heavy or prolong rain because the transfer of oxygen between their soil environment and their blood stream is greatly reduced when their surroundings is primarily water. Water holds much less oxygen than air and earthworms rely on the air in the soil for diffusing adequate oxygen through their skin. Hence, they come to the surface to increase the oxygen uptake when rain water saturates the soil and displaces the air in the soil.

Steve Sample


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