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Last updated: 11/7/08

What’s New:
Lobby Display
As the Worm Turns: A Brief Glance at the Lowly Earthworm

earthworms from a soybean field

Scientist collecting earthworms from a soybean field fertilized with biosolids.
Photograph from the U.S. Geological Survey, Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
“Biosolids, Animal Manure, and Earthworms: Is There a Connection?”
U.S. Geological Survey, 10 Oct 2008.

November’s library lobby exhibit examines the many “faces” of the lowly earthworm. Wiggly and slimy soil-dwellers, earthworms are underappreciated keystone species in many ecosystems and a recurring theme in popular culture. Among the science topics highlighted are the biology and ecology of earthworms, their role in sustainable agriculture and composting, and their effects on global climate change. Also covered in the exhibit are lesser known aspects of earthworms, including their appearance in the works of Shakespeare, Thoreau and Gary Larson, the ongoing feud between earthworms and golfers, and urban legends involving “wormburgers.” The centerpiece of the exhibit is an earthworm “farm” displaying earthworms in their element doing what they do best: eating, burrowing, wiggling and pooping.

Prepared by:
José A. Amador, Professor
Laboratory of Soil Ecology and Microbiology
November 2008

Past Displays in the University Library Lobby

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