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2 Finds Add To Giant Earthworm Science In Northwest

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the shai-hulud dept.

Earth 39

According to an article at Science Daily, "Native, possibly giant, earthworm science in the Pacific Northwest is advancing with the discovery of two new specimens from opposite sides of the interior Columbia River basin. University of Idaho soil scientist Jodi Johnson-Maynard, an associate professor in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, said an earthworm that was most likely a giant Palouse earthworm was found in early March near Moscow [Idaho]." I have trouble with the idea that worms of merely a foot long have trouble meeting the designation "giant" outside of Tremors or Arrakis. Update: 05/06 17:44 GMT by T : Correction: That's Moscow, Idaho, rather than Washington. Thanks to the alert reader who spotted this.

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Yeah, that is a big one... (1, Funny)

wildgnat (1233138) | more than 5 years ago | (#23296362)

If my earth worm were a foot long I would call it a giant, too. In fact I call it a giant anyway.

The vacuum of no replies compells me... (0, Troll)

refactored (260886) | more than 5 years ago | (#23296486)

...and I can't believe I'm burning karma this way....

..but I for one welcome our Giant Worm Overlords.

...at least until a Lensman [wikipedia.org] can save us..

"Do we have wormsign?" (5, Funny)

leftie (667677) | more than 5 years ago | (#23296540)

"We have wormsign the likes of which even God has never seen."

Global worming! (4, Funny)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 5 years ago | (#23296546)

That's causing it!

Re:Global worming! (2, Insightful)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 5 years ago | (#23301168)

Global worming wouldn't be a bad thing.

Vermiculture has a lot of potential. And not just in the current global-warming-will-kill-us-all-we-must-think-of-the-children way you might be thinking.

Of course inexpensive, self replicating solutions don't have a big enough profit margin and as far as I know there's no big vermi-lobby group out there (though a lot of lobbyists are pretty close to worms) nor any big subsidies.

Vermiculture is great (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 5 years ago | (#23306360)

Worms are great soil reconditioners and recyclers. They breed well too: can achieve in excess of x1000 biomass increase in less than a year if kept in the correct conditions.

Worms condition the soil by reducing compaction and improving the water holding ability of the soil. Unfortunately a lot of human agricultural methods (insecticides and fertilisers) can harm them or kill them.

Apart from their natural soil conditioning function, they can also be harvested for use as high protein animal feed.

Re:Global worming! (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 5 years ago | (#23316144)

The in-ground radiation from Hanford [wikipedia.org] is causing it!!!! Soon We'll have to call Gamera and Godzilla to protect us from the giant nuclear worms and mutant, radiation-resistant bacteria [nwsource.com] .

There's a rumor floating around that they just left a Naval reactor core lying on the surface because the dirt they were going to bury it in was already hotter than the core!

Bait (4, Funny)

Sooner Boomer (96864) | more than 5 years ago | (#23296582)

Maybe we can use one of these on a treble hook to catch giant squid.

Re:Bait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23296684)

You might want to use a triple hook unless you're trying to catch flutes.

How much of the worm do you need? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#23296690)

With damaged or incomplete specimens, as frequently happens with soft-bodied organisms like worms, it is often only possible to determine the genus because additional structures and details are required to identify the species.
I thought if you had ~50% of a worm, it'll basically regrow the rest.

Why is that not the case here?

Re:How much of the worm do you need? (4, Informative)

vajaradakini (1209944) | more than 5 years ago | (#23297084)

Usually you just need the head end and the worm will regrow (but I think this depends on the specific worm). If the 50% is the tail end then it doesn't regrow and if it's just random part in the middle (i.e. if they're taking a core sample and get a 3 inch section from the middle of a 1m long worm) then you're not really going to have much at all to go on.

I don't know if you've ever dissected a worm in high school biology class, but they've pretty much got organs in the front and intestines and nerves through the rest and then a place to poop at the end and that's about it (simplifying).

But yeah... worms = uber creepy.

Giant? (1)

iCEBaLM (34905) | more than 5 years ago | (#23296870)

Looks about the same size of worms we have here in Ontario.

Re:Giant? (3, Interesting)

pla (258480) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300436)

Looks about the same size of worms we have here in Ontario.

No kidding... I suspect these things just hide fairly well.

In Northern New England, I've personally seen worms stretching all the way across my front walkway (over two feet) during light evening rain - And judging by the speed with which it snapped back into its hole when I poked at it, I'd say it had more than half its body still underground at the time.

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy". Just because we haven't caught and dissected one yet, doesn't mean they don't exist.

Sandtrout (2, Informative)

MadUndergrad (950779) | more than 5 years ago | (#23297152)

So when are they going to find sandtrout? You need those before the truly large worms make their appearance.

Re:Sandtrout (2, Insightful)

Bender0x7D1 (536254) | more than 5 years ago | (#23298894)

The sandtrout come from the worms themselves. They are the next stage in the life cycle. The real question is how did we get the giant worms without the sandtrout and without a large amount of spice as a catalyst.

Re:Sandtrout (1)

rockhome (97505) | more than 5 years ago | (#23302200)

Actually, the sandtrout may have come to Arrakis from an extra-terrestrial origin.
If you pay really, really, really close attentionto Children of Dune, you'll find that mentioned.

So the worms came from aliens. Just like the Mayan temples.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23298788)

The Palousse worm gets MUCH longer than a foot when mature - but the trouble is that the species is nearly extinct.

This explains the Nevada tremblors also! (1)

apl73 (306355) | more than 5 years ago | (#23300350)

Nevada's been undergoing a series of micro quakes of increasing magnitude. Three possible explanations:

1/ serious work activity
2/ Buckaroo Banzai's prototype earth borer is fully
3/ The chinese are beating us to the punch and digging thru before we can....

Gaaaaah-Rooooooovy!! (2, Informative)

Hellpop (451893) | more than 5 years ago | (#23302036)

Sorry, couldn't resist!
Let's just hope one of them finds that super-suit.

Did they use maker hooks? (1)

rockhome (97505) | more than 5 years ago | (#23302236)

Did they use maker hooks to capture the worms?

Are these just little makers?

Re:Did they use maker hooks? (1)

AgentSmith (69695) | more than 5 years ago | (#23311478)

Emperor Al Gore: I have ridden the mighty moon worm!

Fry: Good for him!

Naw. They're just little makers. They're cute until you pop 'em in water.
Then it gets nasty.
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