Saturday, February 11, 2006

Monsters of the Palouse

Thought to be extinct, the giant Palouse earthworm has recently been rediscovered by a grad student at University of Idaho (my alma mater, donchaknow).
While she did not detect much lily fragrance from this specimen, she said prior reports made note of the pleasant smell, which hasn't yet been explained.

The worm's scientific name, Driloleirus americanus, means "lily-like worm."

Researcher Frank Smith first spotted the earthworm in 1897 and described it as living deep in the fertile Palouse soil. During the summer months, the giant Palouse burrows up to 15 feet deep to stay cool and moist. It conserves water through kidney-like organs called nephridia.

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