Great Lakes Worm Watch

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Underground: how creatures of mud and dirt shape our world 

Underground cover

by Yvonne Baskin. A project of SCOPE, the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment. Island Press, Shearwater Books, Washington, 2005.

“Under Ground” explores the abundant life of the world beneath our feet, giving readers a closer look at soil and its diverse ecosystems. The author examines the roles that these organisms play in balancing the aboveground ecosystem as they make nutrients and minerals available for planktonic and plant life. We are invited to follow along as Baskin walks and talks with scientists and land managers who are pioneering ways to use our growing understanding of sediment and soil life to restore, sustain, or monitor the health of our lands and waters.

The Earth Moved – on the remarkable achievements of earthworms

The earth moved cover

by Amy Stewart. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2004.

Aristotle once called earthworms the intestines of the soil, and Darwin devoted the last years of his life to studying the humble worms in his backyard. But scientists still don't know very much about the prehistoric creatures that inhabit the soil beneath our feet.

Earthworms get a lot of credit for being gardener's helpers and great fishing bait. But these denizens of the dirt are more controversial than you would think. Some ecologists are sounding the alarm as foreign-born earthworms munch their way through the beds of pristine forests. Genetic researchers are studying worms to see if their spooky ability to regenerate may have applications for humans.

Amy Stewart who wrote a book about the little things that wriggle in her garden. They may be spineless, but she says, there's more than most of us know to the dark life of the earthworm

There’s A HAIR In My Dirt! A Worm’s Story

There's a hair in my dirt cover

by Gary Larson. Harper Collins Publishers, 1998. Forward by renowned ecologist E.O. Wilson.

Gary Larson is at it again with a twisted natural history lesson told as a fairy tale. This story puts in print how naturalists talk about nature when children are not around. Side by side stories contrast the beautiful young maiden’s naive love of nature with the hard realities of how ecosystems function.

Please send us your recommendation if you know of other good books related to earthworms that we do not have listed here!

Selected popular press articles

See the full list

“The earthworm turns: off home turf, it’s down to no good”, by Ellen Byron, The Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2003

“An invasion of Hungrier, Bigger worms” by Christopher West Davis , The New York Times, July  20, 2003

“Worming into new territory” by Sophia Estante, Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine, August 2005, pages 24-28.

“Researchers build a case for earthworm’s slimy reputation” by Anne Minard, The New York Times, October 28, 2003

“A bad case of worms: slippery interlopers threaten Minnesota’s northern hardwoods” by Norman Berlinger, Minneapolis Star & Tribune, St. Paul, MN, August 21, 2000

“A New Angle on Earthworms” by Steve Mortensen, MN Conservation Volunteer Magazine, July-August 1998

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