Microscopy Primer
Light and Color
Microscope Basics
Special Techniques
Digital Imaging
Confocal Microscopy
Live-Cell Imaging
Microscopy Museum
Virtual Microscopy
Web Resources
License Info
Image Use
Custom Photos
Site Info
Contact Us

The Galleries:

Photo Gallery
Silicon Zoo
Chip Shots
DNA Gallery
Amino Acids
Religion Collection
Cocktail Collection
Screen Savers
Win Wallpaper
Mac Wallpaper
Movie Gallery

Differential Interference Contrast Image Gallery

Earthworm Muscle Tissue

According to folklore, earthworms have been seen falling from the sky with rain. Though such an occurrence is unlikely, it is easy to understand how such a myth originated, since earthworms often venture out of their burrows after a storm to find mates because their mobility is much better on damp ground.

Earthworms vary in length depending upon species and belong to the phylum Annelida, which contains the segmented worms. The common earthworm Lumbricus terrestris, known as the night crawler in the United States, rarely exceeds lengths of more than ten inches. However, some tropical species of earthworm can be up to eleven feet long. In order to move such long, tapered bodies forward, earthworms exhibit peristalsis, a wave-like motion achieved through rhythmic muscular contractions. With the additional aid of the setae that line each of their body segments, earthworms are relatively adept at wriggling their way through the soil and across the ground.

Even though they have no prominent sensory organs, earthworms are sensitive to vibrations and variations in light. During daylight hours, they generally remain underground where they burrow through the soil, consuming organic material. If they need to find additional food, a mate, or a better area in which to live, they typically will emerge at night in order to avoid the blaring heat of the sun. The daily movements and eating habits of earthworms provide an important agricultural service since they help to aerate and mix soil.


Questions or comments? Send us an email.
© 1998-2015 by Michael W. Davidson and The Florida State University. All Rights Reserved. No images, graphics, scripts, or applets may be reproduced or used in any manner without permission from the copyright holders. Use of this website means you agree to all of the Legal Terms and Conditions set forth by the owners.
This website is maintained by our
Graphics & Web Programming Team
in collaboration with Optical Microscopy at the
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Last modification: Friday, Nov 13, 2015 at 01:19 PM
Access Count Since April 22, 2003: 20038
For more information on microscope manufacturers,
use the buttons below to navigate to their websites: