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Earthworms Through Time

Worms have been wiggling away and tending to the soil on earth for at least 120 million years.

Aristotle called earthworms "the intestines of the soil" and in Ancient Egypt, Cleopatra put to death anyone who tried to smuggle them out.

Most earthworm species were killed out in the northern hemisphere during the last ice age tens of millions of years ago, when huge glaciers made things a little too chilly for them to survive. Northern America and Canada only now have common earthworms after millions of years without them because European settlers who moved there in 17th and 18th century brought worms with them in plant samples and in the soil ballasts the ships left at the port.

Charles Darwin was particularly drawn to worms and In the evenings, whilst his worms sat quietly on his billiard table, Darwin would shout at them, toot his whistle, play the piano as loudly as possible right by them and even blast the bassoon at them. He found out from this that they didn't have ears. He then put two pots each containing a worm on top of the piano, when a C on the bass clef was played they could feel the vibrations and "dashed like rabbits into their burrows" He then wrote down all his findings in a book which is still in print today - 'The Formation Of Vegetable Mould Through The Action of Worms, With Observations Of Their Habits'.

Despite all the attention from the father of the Theory of Evolution, worms have shunned the limelight and avoided the trappings of a celebrity lifestyle which is why they make such good pets. You’ll find your worms are excellent company, fun to learn about and they’ll never complain about the standard of your cooking!

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