Earth-worms, Mud-worms, and Water-worms


I GATHER from various correspondents that the word “earth-worm” requires some elucidation if we are to avoid misconception. I venture to submit the following statement. The Chætopoda, or bristle-footed worms—often called the “Annelids”—form one of the three large branches of the phylum Appendiculata. The Arthropoda (= Gnathopoda) and the Rotifera are its two other branches. The Chætopoda are divisible into the class “Polychæta” (all marine) and the class “Oligochæta”—containing very few marine forms, and inhabiting either the slime and mud of freshwater pools and streams, or the loose, damp “humus” or “earth” of the land-surface.

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L., E. Earth-worms, Mud-worms, and Water-worms. Nature 107, 424 (1921).

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