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Lecture 50

BIOL 1010 Lecture 50: Lecture 50

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Biological Sciences
BIOL 1010
Emily A.Mc Kinnon

c98 Bio 1010 Earthworms are hermaphrodites (both male & female structures) but DO NOT fertilize eggs. Mating earthworms align body facing opposite directions & exchange sperm. Fertilization occurs when a specialized organ secretes a cocoon made of mucus. The cocoon slides along the worm, picking up the eggs & sperm received from partner. The cocoon then slips off the worm & into soil, where embryos develop. Earthworms eat through soil, extracting nutrients as soil passes through digestive tube. Undigested material, mixed with mucus & secreted into digestive tract is eliminated as casting (feces) through anus. Earthworms are valued by farmers because they aerate the soil & castings improve the soils texture. Invasive earthworms in forests across Canada alter natural nutrient cycling as they burrow through soil by mixing the upper layer of decomposing organic material with the inorganic layers beneath. It modifies the structure of the forest floor & may disturb the forest community. New soil may support growth of a different plant community, which attracts different animals. Polychaetes (polys-many, chaeta – hair) Largest group of Annelids & mostly Marine. Live in tubes & extend
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