Thursday, October 29, 2009

Risking Death for Reproduction

Have you ever noticed how many worms die on your driveway/sidewalk/curb/street? If not, the photo to the right and its informative caption should give you a frame of reference.

After a good rain, my driveway is like a virtual worm cemetery. My guess is that accidental suicide, not the hungry Robin, is the leading cause of death to Annelids everywhere.

So why do worms come up from their burrows when it rains? Is it because they will drown in their water-soaked homes? That sounds logical, but it's actually not the case. The truth is that worms don't have room to mate underground, and like its ancestors the armadillo and raccoon, must come above ground to procreate. But as many a sidewalk knows, coming up for a quick roll in the grass is a risky endeavor for these creatures. So they wait until Mother Nature sets the mood, so to speak, to keep their species alive. The only problem being that they often can't find their way back home!

I feel bad for the worms. After a moment of pleasure, they are probably too delirious to know where they're going. All of a sudden they're not on dirt anymore and just not smart enough to find their way back. Perhaps enough of the geographically-challenged members of the species will die off, and worms as a species will evolve to know how to get back to organic ground (or never leave it).

And that will make for some well-fed Robins.

And if they continue to evolve, well, we can only hope that Michael Gross is still around!


Ryan said...

Funny. I totally thought they would drown.

Doughboy said...

After this enlightening post, I plan to stop copulating on sidewalks. Way too dangerous.

Marty said...