Thursday, 30 October 2014

Creature 30: Megascolides australis.

A worm that is bigger than you.
Megascolides australis, 
commonly called the giant Gippsland earthworm, is like any other earthworm, except for its enormous size. 

It can expand and contact in size. A normal worm can expand to up to 2-3 meters in length, but I have seen claims that it can get up to 4m, but I have been unable to substantiate them. This (sort of) makes it bigger than you, at least in length anyway.  Online records will vary as biologists will record its official length as the length at rest. But where is the fun in that? Normally in its resting state it is only amount 1 meter long or slightly more. 

This also makes it the largest annelid in the world. It is so large it can be heard making sucking noises from above ground, which is quite impressive considering its holes can be over 50cm below the surface of the earth.

The giant Gippsland earthworm is only found in the Bass River Valley of South Gippsland. Gippsland is a province in the South eastern Australian state of Victoria.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Annelida
Class: Clitellata
Order: Haplotaxida
Family: Megascolecidae
Genus: Megascolides

Species: Megascolides australis

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