Stewart, Amy. The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms.

Author:Julian, Janet
Position:Brief Article - Young Adult Review - Book Review

STEWART, Amy. The earth moved; on the remarkable achievements of earthworms. Algonquin Books. 223p. bibliog. index. c2004. 1-56512-468-5. $12.95. JSA

A selection of the Discovery Channel Book Club, this delightful visit with worms gives general readers a new respect for a lowly creature. In fact, the earthworm was the subject of the last book published by Charles Darwin before his death, On the Formation of Vegetable Mould. His meticulous research inspired Stewart to do her own investigation and the result is an amusing, fact-filled narrative about an amazing earth-eating machine. "Darwin described the volume of soil that earthworms swallow and eject as castings, or earthworm manure, reporting that an acre of garden soil could contain over fifty thousand earthworms and yield eighteen tons of castings per year." During the 19th century many considered the earthworm a garden pest, but Darwin rehabilitated its reputation. His thesis was that "all the vegetable mould over the whole country has passed many times through, and will again pass many times through, the intestinal canals of worms." The power of earthworms is staggering. And Darwin underestimated the number of worms per acre: scientists today put the number at one million. Worms benefit farmers worldwide, help in...

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