Nightcrawlers are commonly known as earthworms as well as megadriles. These creatures, which belong to the phylum Annelida and class Oligochaeta, are popular for their distinct burrowing action. The species tend to live underground because exposure to direct sunlight is harmful and fatal to earthworms. To know why do nightcrawlers come out in the rain, it is necessary that we take a look at the different theories that are conceptualized by some scientists to explain this unique behavior of earthworms.
Theories Related to the Burrowing Action of Earthworms
Why do nightcrawlers come out in the rain? Scientists have developed various theories concerning this unique behavior of earthworms. One of the most popular theories related to the burrowing action of nightcrawlers is that rainwater can affect the supply of oxygen underground so earthworms come out to survive. Some scientists believe that when soil absorbs rainwater, a shortage in oxygen happens. To get enough supply of oxygen, nightcrawlers come out in the rain.
Another interesting theory that can explain this distinct behavior of nightcrawlers is that these creatures go out of soil right after rain so they can transfer to other place easily because the ground or soil at this time is wet. Earthworms take this opportunity to build new colonies in other locations, which is most of the time important to their survival. In addition, this is the best time to transfer to other places since most predators stay inside their shelters after rain.
Aside from these theories, some experts also agree that the rainwater causes the soil to become acidic. When the soil becomes acidic, staying or living underground can be fatal to these creatures. For this reason, nightcrawlers come out in the rain to prevent from suffering the harmful effects of acidic soil.
Important Information About Earthworms
The burrowing action of nightcrawlers is beneficial to humans. This distinct behavior of creatures is important to enhance soil fertility. Some studies in America found that when earthworms stay underground, these creatures excrete casts that improve the nutrients in soil. Some of the important nutrients present in nightcrawler casts are nitrogen, phosphates as well as potash.
Above all, when nightcrawlers come out in the rain, the creatures open channels or passages that allow other nutrients and minerals to be enter and be absorbed in soil. With all these information, it is safe to conclude that the burrowing behavior of earthworms is very important to enhance the soil nutrients that are essential to the successful cultivation of plants.