Saturday, February 11, 2006

Giant Lily Scented Worms Invade Washington!

Feb. 10, 2006 — A gigantic white worm that smells like lilies was recently unearthed in the state of Washington.

The invertebrate, called the giant Palouse earthworm because it can grow to around three feet long, had not been seen in nearly two decades and is believed to be extremely rare, according to a University of Idaho press release.

The worm may be suffering from competition from non-native species, revealing that even underground soil dwellers are vulnerable to ecosystem disruption.

UI soil science doctoral candidate Yaniria Sanchez-de Leon found the worm while digging in a 10-inch-square and 12-inch-deep pit of dirt located at Washington State University's Smoot Hill Ecological Preserve near Palouse, Wash.. The area is part of the Palouse prairie, which covers approximately two million acres across north central Idaho and southeastern Washington.

Sanchez-de Leon noticed the worm immediately because "it's very white and the anterior part is pink near the mouth."


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