Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hunting the giant earthworm

It's not nearly as popular (or as good-looking) as the ivory-billed woodpecker, but another rare species is the object of a serious hunt. The giant Palouse earthworm of the northwestern U.S. has not been caught since a specimen was nabbed in 2005. It's the only specimen in any collection anywhere. The animal can reportedly grow to three feet long and smells like - lilies? That's what they say. (Who would want to get close enough to smell it?) The government has been asked to list the species as endangered, but says not enough is known about it. The worm has it's allies, and they are using chemical, shock devices, and old-fashioned shovels to try to determine just where the critter exists, and in what numbers.

Thanks to my dad, Don Bille, for pointing me to this story.

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