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Excuse me While I Absorb my Legs...

When you look at a worm you don't think wow what a lot of legs but unbeknownst to you they do have a lot of rather wonderful legs. If you look at a worm under a microscope you will see lots of legs around their bodies, called setae, which help the worm to move along. The incredible thing about these legs is that they can be pulled in and out by the worm. Poking the setae out into the soil at the tail end anchors the worm, whilst its muscles push it forward. They can then be poked out at the head end, anchoring the worm whilst it waits for the tail end to catch up.


Worms make a lot of slime or coelomic fluid, which keeps them lubricated while creating burrows. They cover themselves in it when they are in extremes of heat and cold, or if they are irritated by chemicals or predators. A particular worm called Didymogaster sylvaticus goes so far as to squirt its slime over 30cm into the air to scare predators. The Australian worm, Megascolides australis can squirt only 10cm, but it’s worth a mention as it can grow up to 12 feet in length and because it's skin is so fragile, it lines all its burrows with such huge quantities of slime that they say you can hear the gurgling sounds the slime makes when the worms are on the move many feet below the surface.

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