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THE MENAGERIE AT THE PORCH
EARTHWORMS

MENTAL ABILITIES OF EARTHWORMS

(The title of this page is borrowed from the book of Charles Darwin's "Obrazovanie vegetable layer activity of earthworms".)

Before we talk about the soul, dasite will investigate how the body of the worm, find out where he's got front and back, abdomen and back. To know the back is easy: it vypukloe and how would zagorelie flat tummy. Head to find too easy - it is sharp and always darker tail. In contrast to her bright rear end of body rounded, laptoase, although this spade label is not used - the moves are laid her head. Pathfinder sticks his head into the ground. Then, naturel muscles, inflates his head, and she bit removes the lumps of soil. If in solid earth head breaks from the strain, it is necessary to invest mouth, falls in the full sense of the word to take a throat lacerated an apartment.

The internal structure of the worm resembles the design of the submarine: readable from outside the ring is divided streamlined body into compartments, and the front part of the body used to heavy earthwork, for strength yet broken in half lengthways. Inside living underground boat goes through several pipes: dorsal and ventral blood vessels where blood is pumped five miniature pumps - primitive hearts, and the main pipe, extending from the mouth to the end. Along it is sophisticated equipment, such as the glands that produce huge for such a small organism quantity of lime, and chewing stomach that grinds the food. To "mill" work better, underground dweller, like birds, swallows tiny stones. And the worms that lived in Darwin in clay pots, gladly swallowed small glass beads.

Whoever strung worms on a fishing hook, of course, noticed that the bait can be slippery and rough. When the living body of the worm pierces steel flourish, he struggled rests in the fingers of bristles - they are on each ring and are visible in ordinary magnifying glass. The bristles - "main bearing in the life of this amazing creation, because they are very easy to grasp for tiny irregularities in the ground. That is why it is so difficult to pull the worm out of mink - he would rather give a break yourself. Thanks to the bristles, sedentary on the surface, he is in the earth escapes shovels.

Worms - being timid. They are afraid the slightest vibration of the ground or the wind blows, while their body is covered with a profuse perspiration - mucus, which serves as an excellent lubricant when protiskivanii through the earth. This mucus prevents the body to waste water, and her much - about 80% of the total weight.

The eyes of worms there, but they are well distinguished and the bright rays of the sun - they scare them, and the soft light of the moon, which, on the contrary, attracts them. Worms were hiding when Including Darwin lens collected light candles on the front end of their bodies. If the head was covered, back into the light did not respond.

What things are not done Darwin with the inhabitants of clay pots. Covered red glass candle learned that this color they are indifferent. Naoliv in the fireplace poker, Darwin carefully brought it to the creatures of the night emerge from holes. And those, like rabbits, ran helter-skelter. In the house of Darwin's worms listened bassoon and piano, but were "indifferent" to the works of the great composers. When the pots are set on a polished lid of the piano, the vibrations are incredibly scared of the audience, and they panic beat in the ground. Then the behavior bezuhih listeners Darwin found that they distinguish between the same note taken in bass and treble clef.

Night after night the eminent scientist was quietly sneaked up to the clay pots, trying to even his breathing was not troubled with fearful inhabitants of the sill. He saw, strengthening the tail in the burrow, they pull the front end of the body and feel all around in search of grass or leaves. Holding it to the pots cotton wool soaked in tobacco juice, vinegar or spirits, Darwin learned that these odors worms do not pay attention. Another was the result, when he attracted the worms are excellent, from their point of view, food: cabbage leaves and pieces of onion. If Darwin to their students staged a sumptuous feast was given at the same time the leaves of the cabbage, turnip, beet, celery, cherries and carrots, gourmets in the first place, was eating a carrot. It turned out that they love fried meat and especially susceptible to crude fat, which in natural conditions, of course, their menu is not included. From this Darwin made an important conclusion: the gastric juices of the worm is able to digest not only carbohydrates but also proteins, and fats.

Experiments with worms are now. For example, it is proved that in a weak magnetic field bad they feel the difference between a bright day and dark night. It turned out that you can train to train to get out of the maze. So worms are not stupid. This was told Jan dembovsky in the monograph "the Psychology of animals".

But back to the Chapter in the book of Darwin, where he was taken header. "We saw that cowardly worms. You can rest assured that they, in case of assassination, feel so much pain you can imagine, judging by their movements. Judging by their addiction to known genera of food they can find pleasure in eating. Their sexual desire is strong enough for a certain time to win them the fear of light. Maybe they have traces of public feeling, as perepolzat through each other, they do not detect any anxiety and often lie to each other.

...At a time when their attention is tight, they do not perceive the impressions that have not passed unnoticed in other circumstances; attention, in turn, indicates the existence of them in one form or another of consciousness... One of the most dramatic manifestations of instinct is the clogging of inlet and mink different objects...".

This suggests that armless and eyeless creatures may determine the form of the subject! The sheet they usually involve in mink, having stuck his mouth to handle. If you put the needles, they plugged it into the hole so that the outward protruded the tip. Of course, this can be explained by instinct. But how then to be with experiment, in which Darwin instead of leaves offered its experimental animals for the triangles very different configuration? Unbelievable but true: the worms were learned which end of the triangle easier to drag in the hole!

In the book Darwin more than a hundred pages of text, and to tell her no way. And it is not necessary - the book is so interesting that it would be good to read it yourself.

After the publication of this work, many don't believe, the main conclusion of the author. Some shouted that weak, almost mindless creatures can't perform the work, which they ascribe to Darwin: to think is to shovel and to fertilize the soil on the enormous expanses of the continent! This is not under power and millions of diggers, and not some worms. The chorus of skeptics disgust echoed the voices of the hypocrites: "Why write about an ugly and slimy worms?" Scientists became laborious to verify these findings. The latest research suggests that the conclusions of Darwin modest and cautious - the activity of the worms more intense, more grandiose than believed in the past century.

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The menagerie at the porch

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