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Naturalist Notebook 

November 2, 2011

Spotlight on…

Check out this week’s featured specimen!

(Pictured below, really close up!)

Photo: Holger Casselmann

Can you guess what it is? Here are some hints:

  • This animal has five hearts.
  • It is often a tasty meal for many other animals.

Leave us a comment with your answer! Then come see us in the Classroom on Sunday, Nov. 6th at 2:30 pm for Science Story Adventures to see if you’re right and to learn more about this animal. Science Story Adventures is our program for children ages 4 – 8 and their caregivers. In the program, we explore the natural world through stories, specimens, games and crafts.

Filed under: Spotlight On... — nature @ 12:03 pm


  1. Is it an earthworm?

    Comment by george — November 3, 2011 @ 12:26 pm

  2. An earthworm!

    Comment by Melissa — November 4, 2011 @ 1:14 pm

  3. An earthworm!

    Comment by Adam — November 4, 2011 @ 1:24 pm

  4. Looks like a grubworm. Do those have 5 hearts?

    Comment by Brien — November 4, 2011 @ 1:28 pm

  5. my guess is earthworm

    Comment by Tina — November 4, 2011 @ 1:49 pm

  6. Creature is the Earthworm but it is just an organ with 5 parts not 5 hearts! Each individual part is pear shaped. Function was to pump blood.

    As Earthworms are invertebrates their organs were primitive too. Perhaps these Pear shaped muscular parts started to fuse and formed a heart in vertebrates on wards most probably from Fish as those have two chambered hearts. If you look at Fish’s heart it is shaped like two joint pears.

    Earthworms didn’t have a lung. Exchange of Oxygen took place through skin. This continued into Vertebrates like fish, which had gills but no lungs and Amphibians still breathe through skin while under water even though they have a pair of air sacs or primitive lungs.

    Comment by Jo — November 4, 2011 @ 5:50 pm

  7. Yes, this was an easy one, but we had fun reading stories about earthworms like this one and exploring a worm bin in Science Story Adventures today. The earthworm pictured here is a green worm (Allolobophora chlorotica). To learn more about green worms and earthworms in general, check out these sites:

    As Jo pointed out, some scientists do not refer to the organs that earthworms have as hearts since they are not the same as a human heart. In some cases, they are called aortic arches or pseudohearts. Others refer to them as hearts for simplicity’s sake since they perform the function of pumping blood throughout the worm’s body.

    Thanks for all of your guesses. We will have another “Spotlight On…” soon, but in the meantime, see if you can tell us who pooped.

    Comment by nature — November 6, 2011 @ 4:44 pm

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