How Do Earthworms Get Oxygen?

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Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered

This may be a question that keeps you up at night, or perhaps you're just the curious type? Just how do earthworms get oxygen when it is quite apparent they do not have a nose? Sometimes, science is stranger than fiction and the animal world is always full of surprises as in this case. Read and discover the wonders of nature contained in this simple and important cog of the ecological world. 

Earthworms need very special circumstances in which to live, one of which is humid conditions must exist for their skin not to dry out, which would cause a rather quick death. Earthworms do not have lungs as humans and many other animals have, instead, earthworms respire through their skin, and they must coat themselves in mucus to allow dissolved oxygen to pass into their bloodstream. Like most all land-based animals, earthworms cannot breathe underwater, so when you see them emerge from the ground after a deluge of rain, they are merely trying to find oxygen to breathe just like any other animal would.   Also worms come out of the ground after it rains because they can. They need humid conditions so thats why there are always worms on the ground after the rainwater dries.

Invertebrates, of which earthworms are members, have pores on their skin that take in the oxygen. Once it is in their bodies, the earthworms have a circulatory system which carries the oxygen to all parts of their bodies.  Earthworms are like humans in that they prefer warm weather, and will hibernate in cold conditions. In freezing conditions, an earthworm will most likely not survive for very long. 

While earthworms do not breathe as many other animals, they are an important part of the ecology in many parts of the planet, not to mention, they are great to catch and use if you're a fisherman. So feel free to use this information next time you play Trivial Pursuit, and amaze your family and friends with the depth of your knowledge of our animal kingdom.

Julii Brainard Profile
Julii Brainard answered
The question may be assuming that earthworms live in air-tight spaces underneath the soil surface. Actually, it's not airtight down there where they live. Earthworms can really only burrow and live in soil that is relatively loose -- not densely compacted.

So they get enough air from within the tiny air pockets of the soil they live in.

As to how the oxygen gets into their body... earthworms don't have lungs. But there is gas exchange across their skin, and into their primitive circulatory system (blood stream). The outermost layer of the Earthworm's skin is kept moist by constant small excretions of mucous. This wetness attracts (in a chemical way) oxygen into the worm, and helps to expel waste gases out of the worm. Earthworms need to stay about as moist as a damp (not dripping) sponge to breathe well enough.

If the air pockets in the subsurface soil get filled with water (as they do after heavy rain) then the worm is forced to go to the surface to breathe. That's why it's easy to find earthworms on the lawn after it's been raining.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Earthworms need oxygen, just like other living creatures. They don't have lungs. They breath through their skin. Like frog breaths in water. Their respiration process occur through diffusion (transfer of atoms from higher to lower concentration).
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
They breathe through their skin.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
They get it from the soil.Soil has tiny spaces where they are air for earthworms to breathe.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Through their skin. And I don't see what your god has to do with this other guy, leave him in your own head.
MUHAMMAD TARIQ Profile
MUHAMMAD TARIQ answered
We know that the earthworms live underneath the soil surface but the physics of earth is design by GOD in such a manner that there are always interstitial spaces present beneath the earth's surface in which water and air continuously diffuses by which animals like earthworms live. They utilize the oxygen from the water and diffusing air through their moist skin and they perform respiration...
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Anonymous answered
They get oxygen from there skin they  DO NOT  have lungs. They are like humans cause they need oxygen  but you can't suffocate them because they don't have lungs. HAHAAHAHAHA

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