The Earth Moved

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Aristotle once called earthworms the intestines of the soil, and Darwin devoted the last years of his life to studying the humble worms in his backyard. But scientists still don’t know very much about the prehistoric creatures that inhabit the soil beneath our feet.

Earthworms get a lot of credit for being gardener’s helpers and great fishing bait. But these denizens of the dirt are more controversial than you would think. Some ecologists are sounding the alarm as foreign-born earthworms munch their way through the beds of pristine forests. Genetic researchers are studying worms to see if their spooky ability to regenerate may have applications for humans.

Amy Stewart who wrote a book about the little things that wriggle in her garden. They may be spineless, but she says, there’s more than most of us know to the dark life of the earthworm.


Amy Stewart, author of “The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms”

Cindy Hale, founder of Minnesota Worm Watch and a researcher with the University of Minnesota Duluth.