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Do Worms Lay Eggs?

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chongalolo | 22:54 Fri 12th May 2006 | Animals & Nature
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I have googled this but cannot find a definitive answer. Anyone know this useless bit if information?

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Earthworms are hermaphrodites. This means that each earthworm has male parts that produce sperm and female parts that produce eggs. All earthworms lay eggs.

When two earthworms mate, they lie together, and cover themselves in sticky mucus, and pass sperm into each other's body. The sperm makes the eggs inside each earthworm's body grow.

A thick ring of slime forms around each worm's body and as the earthworm wriggles forward, the ring with eggs inside it slips off and is left on the ground. The ring closes at both ends and becomes a hard cocoon that protects the eggs.

The eggs hatch after two weeks if the weather is warm, but they can take up to three months to hatch when it is cold. Usually one or two earthworms hatch out of each egg. The young worms are about 12 millimetres long and light pink in colour. Earthworms are able to mate when they are twelve months old.

Thanks to Nature Watch...

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Thanks so much Clanad. Great answer. We had a class of 5 year olds who asked this question and none of the teachers knew!

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