Worms – Don’t Cut Them In Half. Please.

Q: Is it true that if you cut an earthworm in to two parts both will survive? What if just a small part is cut off?

A: I hope you’re not planning an experiment to find out! Earthworms survive being cut to pieces about as well as you do. Although it is hard for us to determine which end is the head and which is the tail, an earthworm knows. If you cut it in half, the nervous, digestive and circulatory systems of the worm are severed. Just as with a mammal, their recovery depends on how much is cut off. If a small part of the tail end is removed, they can recover. They will not survive long if divided in the middle.

Are you interested in learning how to determine which end of the worm is its head? It is easy once you know what to look for. The thick, light-colored band around a worm’s body is always closest to the end where its mouth is located. The male and female openings are somewhere between the band and the worm’s mouth. Earthworms somehow figure all this out instinctively and manage to multiply prodigiously. Worm experts say ten pounds of worms can become over two tons in two years if fed regularly.