Q:

What is the life cycle of a worm?

A:

Quick Answer

A worm has a simple life cycle, as it starts inside an egg cocoon, hatches into a small worm, grows larger and becomes sexually mature, mates with another worm and creates egg cocoons. The cycle then repeats itself with the offspring.

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Full Answer

Worms are hermaphrodites, which means that they have both male and female reproductive parts. A worm is ready to mate when it is about four to six weeks old. It develops a whitish band around its head called a clitellum. This is where the reproductive organs can be found.

To complete the mating process, two worms join together by facing opposite each other, then they place their clitellums together. Sperm is passed between the worms, and a cocoon begins to form in each worm. Each cocoon holds up to five baby worms. Cocoons can keep for years until the right conditions are met for hatching.

Baby worms are approximately 1/2 inch in length and are white in color when they're born. Worms do not tend to their young, and the baby worms are left to fend for themselves. They start eating right away, and in about six weeks, when they develop into adult worms, they find a mate to repeat the process.

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