Meadowgate's picture

Dead earthworms

Observed: 17th March 2011 By: MeadowgateMeadowgate’s reputation in Invertebrates
Dead earthworms
Dead earthworms
Description:

Some dead earthworms. They seem to have been eaten by an animal. We think that the animal was sick because it accidentally swallowed the plastic. We think a fox was the culprit but maybe a bird. there are crows and blackbirds around. Any ideas anybody?
by pupils Meadowgate School, Brockley, London

Identifications
  •  
    Likely ID
    Earthworms
    Confidence: I'm as sure as I can be.
    ID agreements (): 2 People
    • jonmortin
      Bristol Regional Environmental Records Centre
      jonmortin’s reputation in Invertebratesjonmortin’s reputation in Invertebratesjonmortin’s reputation in Invertebratesjonmortin’s reputation in Invertebrates
    • the naturalist man
      The Mammal SocietyYorkshire Naturalists' Union
      the naturalist man is knowledgeable about Invertebratesthe naturalist man’s earned reputation in Invertebratesthe naturalist man’s earned reputation in Invertebratesthe naturalist man’s earned reputation in Invertebrates
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

anonymous spotter's picture

The classic earthworm eater -

is the badger, but certainly, as you suggest, foxes and many birds will also eat them. Some dogs, too! There is no earth visible, which perhaps suggests a bird, as the mammals are less fussy eaters.
Plastic is a real problem for many land and marine animals: it is a killer, I'm afraid. Being virtually indestructible (most types are not quickly biodegradable), it will be a long-term problem in the environment.
Look up the problems turtles have with plastic bags -which in the water look and move just like their favourite jellyfish snacks - for instance.

Revision - had a look on a bigger screen - see what you mean about the earth. That makes mammal more likely, I'd agree.

Meadowgate's picture

We think that it might be a mammal then.....

because if you look carefully at the pictures you can see that there is soil where the blue plastic is. If it is a mammal it is probably a fox because there are lots of foxes around here and we sometimes see them digging on our school allotment. our school allotment is right next to where we found the worms. Can anyone identify what type of earthworms they are? they are quite big. you can compare them with the ash keys in the picture.

Meadowgate School pupils.

jonmortin's picture

worms

Hard to be certain which species and maybe more than one species eaten? Some of them look like the Lob Worm Lumbricus terrestris. To identify earthworms you can download a very good key from www.OPALexplorenature.org