Encyclopedia > Worm

  Article Content


This article is about animals known as worms. There is also an article about computer worms.
A worm is any of numerous relatively small elongated soft-bodied invertebrate animals. The most famous is the earthworm, a member of phylum Annelida, but there are hundreds of thousands of different species that live in a wide variety of habitats other than soil.

Originally, the word referred to any creeping or a crawling animal of any kind or size, such as a serpent, caterpillar, snail, or the like. Later this definition was narrowed to the modern definition which still includes several different animal groups. Some of these are from the phyla: Annelida, Chaetognatha, Nematoda ("roundworms"), Nemertea and Platyhelminthes ("flatworms"). Many insect larvae are also called "worms".

The night crawler[?] (Latin name Lumbricus terrestris) is very similar to the common garden worm[?].

"Worm" phyla include:

  • Acanthocephala - Spiny headed (Thorny headed) worms
  • Aeschelminthes - "round worms" (includes the phyla Nematoda, Rotifera, Gastrotricha, Kinorhyncha, Nematomorpha, and Priapulida
  • Annelida - Segmented worms without setae -- including earthworms
  • Chaetognatha -- Arrow Worms
  • Echiura -- Spoon Worms
  • Gastrotricha --
  • Gnathostomulida -- Jaw worms
  • Hemichordata -- Acorn worms (chordates)
  • Kinorhyncha
  • Nematoda -- Ribbon worms
  • Onychophora -- "Velvet worms" (Arthropods or close relatives thereof)
  • Platyhelmintha -- flatworms
  • Pogonophora -- Beard Worms.
  • Polychaeta -- segmented worms with setae
  • Priapulida
  • Sipuncula -- "Peanut Worms"
  • Rotifera
  • Urochordata - Tunicate worms (possibly chordates)
  • Vestimentifera

Worm is also a Nordic word for a dragon (also spelled "Wyrm").

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article
Shoreham, New York

... age 18 and over, there are 88.8 males. The median income for a household in the village is $109,719, and the median income for a family is $116,985. Males have a media ...

This page was created in 55.7 ms