Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Anne's New and Hot (Week 4)

"How the Worm Turns" by Amy Stuart

When I was reading the op-ed section of the New York Times on Earth day, the name "Darwin" caught my eye at the end of one of the articles. As it turns out it mainly has to do with the re-surfacing of a species of worm that naturalists had declared extinct. In light of earth day this article offers an optimistic view. The presesnce of earth worms provides initalial indications of the health of an environment. According to the article: "Earthworms are bellwether creatures; when they disappear, it probably means that vital habitat has been lost, too. That’s why I’m so encouraged by the recent rediscovery of earthworms that had been classified as extinct" The article also describes the many new species of creatures that are discovered each year. A memorable quote is: "Discovering new species? No problem. Just stroll into a jungle and get one." Apparently last year scientists discovered eighty new species of earth worms. I had never realized the magnitude of undiscovered species, but the article clearly shows that naturalists are as important as ever...even those focusing on earth worms. Near the end, the metnion of Darwin that I had originally caught my eye surprised me even more: 'it may just be further proof of Darwin’s assertion that earthworms possess some intelligence." I'm not sure how accurate this statement is, but I want to see if he really thought this. Despite this odd refrerence, I never really thought about earth worms very much before, and this article is actually quite current and entertaining. You can find it here: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/22/opinion/22stewart.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

3 comments:

Sagar said...

Earthworms huh? I wonder if all the beatles of the world have been identified - or even barnacles...

chickenpox said...

lol, this is pretty funny...considering how in such a "modern" society, we're still discovering new species of earthworms.

dani

chickenpox said...

i guess earthworms are pretty awesome. it's so strange how we can get so excited and into our research, even if it's on something that other people think is so trivial or uninteresting. for example, one of my friends is doing Honors research at Hopkins on snails this summer (I forgot what kind)...anyways...I say more power to her :)

kate