Let’s have a little fun, a little learning and a little YIKES! today with the NEMATODE:
Derived from the Greek word meaning thread, the Nematode is slender, cylindrical, thread-like worm.
The Nematode (including roundworms, hookworms and eelworms) is a microscopic, parasitic, invertebrate roundworm that inhabits marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments. It is considered the most numerous multi-celled animal on earth, even though most Nematodes measures less than a millimeter in length. This tiny creature has all of these systems… reproductive, digestive and nervous.
One interesting characteristic of the Nematode is its alimentary canal. (The alimentary canal consists of the mouth, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine.) A Nematode is sometimes called a tube within a tube because it alimentary canal extends directly from its mouth to its anterior end. That would be its butt. YIKES!
The Nematode feeds on bacteria, fungi and sometimes even other Nematodes and they are found everywhere. There are at least 80,000 identified species of the Nematode and some biologists believe there may be up to 100 million species in all. YIKES!
And for a further YIKES!, the parasitic Nematode finds itself in nearly all animals, plants and even human beings. One small handful of soil can contain thousands of Nematodes. Some Nematodes can cause extensive root damage in plants, but enough of the bad…
Good Nematodes provide biological control of soil-dwelling insect pests. Ah, ha!
The Nematode may not be the cutest little insect out there, but your kids and grandkids will be fascinated (maybe a bit grossed-out, too!) by the Nematode. Why not do a little research on the life-cycle of the Nematode… or head right to SpongeBob, where Nematodes have been known to eat their way through just about everything!
Join me here each day in June for JUNE BUGS on 365 Days of Literacy for Kids! – a little learning, a little fun and a little YIKES!