Due to their significant resemblance to snakes, it is only natural to wonder whether or not worms belong to the same family of reptiles.
In turn, due to their moist skin and lack of certain features, it is also only natural to wonder if they belong to a different family that we humans know a bit about amphibians.
No, worms are not reptiles. Worms belong to an entirely different category called invertebrates (no bones or spinal structure). The segmented worm (like earthworms) are further classified as annelids.
In this article, we will see what differences there are between reptiles, amphibians, and the worm family and what type of animals earthworms are.
Are earthworms reptiles or amphibians?
Before answering the question “are worms amphibians or reptiles? ” let’s take a closer look at what reptiles and amphibians are and how they differ from one another.
First of all, reptiles are cold-blooded animals with scales and dry skin. Belonging to the reptile family, there are turtles, tortoises, snakes, crocodiles, alligators, lizards, chameleons, etc.
On the other hand, amphibians have smooth skin that is moist with mucus.
Their eggs are also often covered in a protective gel, whereas reptilian eggs are often covered with a hard material.
Belonging to the amphibian family, there are frogs, toads, salamanders, caecilians, etc.
Now, it is no wonder why some consider worms to be a part of the reptilian family. Due to their shape, they do somewhat resemble snakes.
However, as their skin is moist, it is only natural for others to consider them to be closely related to amphibians.
There is also the fact that caecilians largely resemble worms, making it more likely that they belong to this animal classification.
However, the truth is that worms are neither reptiles nor amphibians.
Both reptiles and amphibians are vertebrates, meaning that they have skeletons.
Despite their flexible movement, even snakes have a strong vertebral column, and caecilians have been proven to have bones, making them not a part of the worm family.
Worms are invertebrates, and belong to their own separate category, along with a few other animals in nature, both marine and land animals.
Are Worm Lizards considered a worm or a reptile?
Despite their worm-like appearance, Amphisbaenia, or worm lizards, are indeed reptiles and not worms.
They have skeletons, sometimes legs, and scales, making scientists define them as part of the reptilian family.
What kind of animal is an earthworm?
In actual fact, earthworms are invertebrates. This means that they have no bones or vertebral columns to support their body structure.
Other animals in this species include corals, jellyfish, certain insects, flatworms, roundworms, annelids (i.e. segmented worms), ribbon worms, etc.
They are also essential to the circle of life, and have a great impact on reptiles and amphibians, too.
Earthworms consume decaying organic matter in the land.
The decaying material that they find in the soil is then put through a process within their elongated bodies, turning it into castings.
Scientists have found that worm castings are incredibly beneficial to nature in general, as they retain moisture very well, keeping plants, trees, and other vegetation better hydrated.
They also help the vegetation to better consume the other nutrients in the soil.
Therefore, by helping the living materials to grow better, they help to better feed the human and other animal races, by consuming the dead matter.
In conclusion, worms are not a reptile. The animal kingdom is divided between six general groups: invertebrates, fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles.
Although there are a vast amount of species that enter into each category, some of which we are still discovering, the defining terms of each category are relatively easy to understand.
When it comes to worms, they are indeed a part of the invertebrate category, despite their striking resemblance to other animals including snakes, and caecilians.
As you can see, the role that these little creatures play in the world is undeniably crucial to life on this planet, and they should therefore be treated with as much care and respect as any other animal, amphibian, reptile, or others.