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Old 04-28-2010, 03:41 AM   #1
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worm Idaho scientists find fabled giant Palouse earthworm

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It's been more than two decades since scientists unearthed an intact, living specimen of a giant Palouse earthworm.
Now, researchers at the University of Idaho have bagged what might be an entire family.
On a sliver of native prairie surrounded by wheat fields, the researchers discovered an adult, a juvenile and three egg cocoons — two of which have since hatched in the lab........Reports from the 1890s of worms up to 3 feet long were probably exaggerations, said Johnson-Maynard. She agrees with a colleague who jokes that a better name for the species would be "the larger-than-average Palouse earthworm."
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Old 04-28-2010, 02:23 PM   #2
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This is interesting. In my mind I had envisioned them being much larger than they are.

What saddens me is the cavalier comment that the adult worm lost its life in the cause of science.
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Old 04-29-2010, 04:49 PM   #3
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Default Photo: monster worm is less than a monster

Photo: monster worm is less than a monster
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
April 28, 2010

Photo: monster worm is less than a monster
excerpt from above:
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... The Palouse earthworm is currently listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List, although the species hasn't been assessed for over a decade. The species' native habitat, the Palouse prairie, has been almost entirely converted to agriculture with less than one percent of native prairie lands surviving today. Scientists believe that many native earthworms in the US struggle to survive due to intensive agriculture as well as competition with invasive species.

Conservation groups sued the US Fish and Wildlife Service to list the Palouse earthworm under the Endangered Species Act in 2006. The petition was rejected due to a lack of information on the species. These two new specimens may represent a turning-point for the clearly rare, but not so big after all, Palouse earthworm.
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Old 04-30-2010, 01:02 AM   #4
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They didn't tell us how many baby palouses hatched from the cocoons. That's not fair. What's pretty wild is the electrical current got them to surface. Considering the depth I've read these worms were found at 100 years ago.... that's sort of surprising.
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