There are over a thousand species of earthworm residing in Australia, but none of them are as unique and magnificent as the giant earthworm of Gippsland. The scientific term for this creature is Megascolides Australis. These earthworms are called giant because of the length of 1 meter, although they are only 2 cm in width – but they can grow up to 3 meters, resulting in their giant shape. The head of these earthworms are usually dark purple, along with a bluish grey torso.
These earthworms reside in red, blue or gray clay soils which are mainly situated along river banks or some hills. To live, the giant earthworm of Gippsland make deep burrows their home and find places with plenty of water support. They prefer living in moist environment. These earthworms have relatively longer lifespan than the others, some taking 5 years to reach adulthood. The time of reproduction for this species is the warm summer months. They deliver egg cocoons, which are hatched in burrows. It takes around a year to hatch these earthworms, and the emerging newborn is usually 20 cm in length.
Detecting one of these earthworms is quite easy enough – they make a gurgling or sucking sound whenever they are moving along the subversive burrows. Despite its giant size, this species is known as peaceful and quiet.
If you want to learn and watch more about the giant earthworm of Gippsland, you can visit the Giant Earthworm Museum in Bass of Gippsland. You can experience the life of these earthworms by walking through a replica of an earthworm burrow and a worm’s stomach. You can also find educational contents and magnificent displays of the giant earthworms on this museum.
Although the giant earthworm of Gippsland is unique and wonderful species, sadly it is now an endangered species. Many of Australia’s native species are becoming extinct, and the giant earthworm is also in the same danger. This is mainly because of the historical colonization of Australia by the Europeans, the longtime affect has adverselt affected this species. Also another important cause for the near extinction is the tendency of farmers to plant crops. Although Australian people are known to raise cattle, many have opted for raising crops and selling them. When those farmers plough the moist ground to plant crops, the giant earthworms residing in those grounds become severed. Because of these causes, the giant earthworm of Gippsland is dangerously close to become extinct.
Earthworms are not just a shrinking animal lurking beneath our feet – it has its uses. The earthworms are responsible for making a ground capable of planting crops. They also keep the ground moist, resulting in cooler environment. The giant earthworm of Gippsland is an eye candy compared to the rest of the earthworm species that is why it is imperative to save this species from extinction. What we can do is we can breed these species separately and plant them throughout the country, to make our grounds more fertile, and increasing the number of giant earthworms. It is our duty to save this species from extinction.