Video: Earth's little garbage people?

Earth's little garbage people? (video)
Credit: The American Chemical Society

If you're enjoying some tasty food today that has at least one ingredient that was farmed somewhere, you probably owe a little thanks to earthworms.

How is it that these detritivores - literally dirt eaters - turn what humans find inedible into beloved compost?

After the biology and physics of swallowing and "chewing", like us it's all chemistry for digestion.

But earthworms have an extra enzyme that allows them to munch through cellulose, the ultimate fiber that makes tree bark a non-starter in .

Yet all this powerful chemistry means not everyone sees earthworms as the greatest creature to crawl - find out all the dirt in the latest Reactions video here:

Explore further

New study suggests earthworms sequester more CO2 than they release

Citation: Video: Earth's little garbage people? (2017, April 19) retrieved 29 March 2020 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Feedback to editors

User comments