Analyzing Structure and Functions of OrgansEssay

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Structure and Functions of Organs

The Structure, the Organs and Their Functions in the Body of an Earthworm

Description of the environment, including landscape, food, temperature and food sources

Earthworms need minimal optimal conditions to thrive. They thrive in moist, dark and an environment full of food. Finally, the earth is filled with the perfect fertilizer. Earthworms consume all types of stuff including newspapers dumped in your garage, melons, and other such organic discards. The worm is a unique organism that eats and breaks down the garbage it eats, into useful manure. It can be said that the worm is on an eating spree as it burrows through the earth's crust throughout its lifetime. Studies show that the earthworm can consume twice its own weight. In the course of eating through the earth, the worm ingests minerals, and loads of organic matter each day. This means that it has an efficient digestive system to manage all that grinding, sieving and sifting of the massive volumes and varieties of food nutrients. Scientists have identified over 4400 species of earthworms so far. They are classified into three main categories. The categories are based on their eating habits and the by type of soil they are most likely to be found. The scientific groups are endogenic, anecic and epigeic ( Worms4Earth, 2016).


Most of the earthworms in existence cannot stand temperatures below the freezing point. They cannot tolerate Extended durations of temperatures exceeding 95oF. They have developed survival strategies that allow them to burrow deeper into the earth to avoid freezing to death. The worms survive best in temperatures between 50 and 60 degree Fahrenheit

Food supply population

The population of earthworms is influenced by the quality and quantity of food including its placement. The residue eaten by earthworms must be available in sufficient quantity if it has to help the earthworms. Such residue should also be of good quality. It has been observed that residue that is high in carbon to nitrogen ratio is not good for earthworms. Adding manure to such residue helps to make it more supportive to the worms. Packed manure makes good food for these worms. Residue has to be seasoned in some cases if the earthworms are to digest it. The earthworms that reside in the top soil require much smaller particles compared to the ones that live deeper in the soil. Some earthworm species rely on the appropriate placing of food for them to thrive. The earthworms that appear on top soil need smaller organic residue mixed with the soil particles as compared to the sub-dwellers that eat residue straight from the surface (Duiker, 2016).



These are the worms that dwell in the top soil. These are the most common worms found in New Zealand. They live within the 20cm of the top soil. These worms consume huge amounts of soil and the organic matter available in it. Even though the endogenic species rise to the surface in search of food, they are known to form shallow temporary grooves in the soil.

Anecic: subsoil dwellers

These worms live much deeper into the soil; up to three meters below the surface. They fetch food from the surface and consume organic matter they get from the soil. These worms form burrows that run laterally as well as vertically in the soil. The burrows diameter may measure up to 2cm.

Epigeic: surface dwellers

These worms live in places with a high amount of organic matter. They largely feed on leaf litter because they live close to the surface and such food is available abundantly. They also thrive on dung and decaying roots. They do not form permanent grooves (Science Learning Hub, 2012)..

Earthworm Nice grouping, Source: Science Learning Hub

The role of the earthworm in the environment

Recycling of organic matter:

The worms, with support from such other organisms as bacteria and fungi, help to decompose organic material. Although most people associate earthworms with compost, the role of earthworms goes beyond the compost heap. Earthworms actually do the same in Pasteur manures. They decompose plant litter and dung up to 20 tons for each hectare of land per year. They are also responsible for decomposing leaves in orchards and under forest surfaces.

Increasing nutrient availability:

They break down organic matter in two main ways. Firstly, they are responsible for… [END OF PREVIEW]

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