Test your soil and earthworm knowledge with our quiz
Can earthworms clone themselves? Can soils help reduce global warming?
Decide which of the statements below are true and which are false. Check your score at the end. How many did you get right?
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1. Soil is the top layer of the earth's surface.
2. A teaspoon of healthy soil contains as many inhabitants as there are people in Britain.
3. A teaspoon of healthy soil contains approximately three miles of fungal hyphae (hyphae are a bit like roots).
4. Soils store more carbon than the Earth's atmosphere and all its plants, and so can help reduce global warming.
5. Soil is made up of layers and the plant roots and seeds are found in the layer called subsoil.
6. An average soil sample is 98% minerals, 1% water and 1% air.
7. The weight of earthworms beneath the farmer's soil could be greater than that of the livestock upon its surface.
8. Earthworms are a pest to the gardener because they eat the roots of popular garden plants.
9. Earthworms can make gurgling noises underground when disturbed.
10. The most common earthworm, a lumbricid has five pairs of hearts.
11. Worm casts (the little heaps of squiggly mud you see on the ground) are made when earthworms regurgitate dead leaves.
12. Several common earthworm species are parthenogenetic – in other words they can make clones of themselves.
13. There are only five different soils in the world.
How did you do?
- 11-13 correct - Excellent. You could be a soil or earthworm scientist!
- 5-10 correct - Very good. Discover more by taking part in the Soil and Earthworm Survey.
- 1-4 correct - Good effort. Improve your knowledge by taking part in the Soil and Earthworm Survey.
- 0 correct - The only way is up! Try again and see how many answers you remember.