"In experiments, I noticed that earthworms frequently clustered and formed
a compact patch when they were out of the soil," Zirbes told the BBC.
I spent like fifteen minutes trying to figure out how to capitalize the title sentence before giving up.
So I doubt anyone thinks of earthworms as social or intelligent creatures, because they are ugly and drown in puddles more frequently than other creatures, but I still really like them.
So does Lara Zirbes at the University of Liege in Belgium. For her PhD dissertation, she conducted a series of studies to determine whether earthworms demonstrate herd behavior. She rigged up a bunch of mazes and sent earthworms through them, and it turns out that they do! Apparently earthworms communicate through touch and prefer to travel in groups.
When placed in a chamber together, worms will follow the same path. Unlike ants and other social insects, worms communicate using direct physical contact rather than pheromone trails. Which means they try to touch each other with as much of their bodies as possible to mazimize communication.
I'm not sure why exactly but to me that is so beautiful.