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Giant Gippsland – The World’s Largest and Most Extraordinary Earthworms



What's 31 inches long, one inch thick, has no legs, and slithers through the ground? No, it's not a snake, it was an earthworm! The Giant Gippsland, found in Gippsland in south-eastern Australia, is the world's largest species of earthworms. Fully stretch, it can measure up to two meters in length.

The slithering giants are surprisingly gentle creatures. It is very difficult to see, spending most of their lives deep underground. The higher water content in the soil helps them breathe better. Their burrows can be as deep as 3-5 feet below the surface. Sometimes, heavy rainfall compelled them to exit out of the dirt. You can find also find their burrows in areas where there's been erosion.



They are very fragile - reckless handling can crush and kill them. Only a particular type of moist soil is suitable for their survival. If you happen to walk over their water-filled burrows, they respond to the vibration of your footsteps. They start to crawl about and make squelchy noises that are relatively easy to hear. So even if the Gippsland Giants are pretty rare, you know when they are around.


Giant Gippslands lay large egg cocoons looks brown bean pods. They lay only one egg at a time, which takes a full year to hatch. The baby is not good or very, they qualify as humongous in terms earthworm 7 inches long! They do not grow very fast though. It takes about five years to reach their maximum length. We do not know exactly how long they live, but the estimated age of these wonderful creatures is 20 years.


Despite their size, the population of Gippsland Giants in Australia is relatively small. The main cause is often loss of habitat, along with a slow rate of reproduction. The earthworms are labeled 'vulnerable' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of threatened species.

 
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