Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A snake? A worm?

We found this "strange" creature in our backyard. He was about 2 inches long with a "hammer" head and stripes. He looks dark on the semi-dark background, but looked very light when we saw him on a petri dish to view him through a microscope. At first, I thought it might be a very small snake. Then, I thought it might be a worm.

After a little research, I found it was a worm! A worm called a terrestrial flatworm or land planarian. We watched him for quite a while. We loved how his little "hammer head" would go back and forth as he decided where to go. We even got out our digital microscope and took some movies of him. (Photo from microscope below)

After releasing him (we probably studied him for an hour), I read more about him on the computer. This little flatworm is actually an invasive species. He is not good to have around as he eats earthworms. You also have to pour some kind of chemical to kill him because if you chop him up, each piece becomes a new flatworm!!! Amazing, huh?


Teacher of One said...

You find some of the freakiest stuff!
Tag.... What's on your fridge?

Robin said...

Ugh! That thing just creeps me out in a big way!

Melissa Telling said...

You know people (homeschoolers especially) actually BUY those things so they can cut them up & watch them grow.

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