Lifestyle Environment 04 Nov 2016 Earthworm Dave wrigg ...

Earthworm Dave wriggles into record books in UK

PTI | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Nov 4, 2016, 7:38 pm IST
Updated Nov 4, 2016, 7:46 pm IST
Thousands of people have posted messages on Twitter using the hashtags #justicefordave and #justicefordavetheworm.
Natural History Museum scientist Emma Sherlock said: "I was bowled over by the size of this worm when I opened the plastic box they sent it in. (Photo: AP)
 Natural History Museum scientist Emma Sherlock said: "I was bowled over by the size of this worm when I opened the plastic box they sent it in. (Photo: AP)

London: An earthworm named Dave has wriggled into the record books as the largest ever found in the UK, measuring a whopping 40cm, a media report said on Friday.

Experts at the Natural History Museum bestowed the accolade upon the annelid after it ventured above ground in a vegetable plot in Widnes, Cheshire.

The Lumbricus terrestris was studied at the museum before being euthanised in "the sad bit of science".

It is now in a jar and will be "around for ever more", the BBC quoted the museum as saying.

The 26gram worm was found by Paul Rees and given the moniker Dave by his stepson George.

Natural History Museum scientist Emma Sherlock said: "I was bowled over by the size of this worm when I opened the plastic box they sent it in.

"Not only was it really long, it is almost twice as heavy as any other wild earthworm ever seen, weighing the same as a small chocolate bar.

"Dave is now preserved in the museum collections, and will now be useful to science."

She added: "Although his name on the jar is Lumbricus terrestris little George did request that his real name, Dave, be preserved forever too so on the label it clearly states 'known as Dave' and that will be reflected in the museum database forever too."

Sherlock said Dave was bigger than the longest Scottish worm, unearthed in 2015, which grew to 39.6cm on the island of Rum.

She said: "With worms this size Paul must have an incredibly fertile and well-drained vegetable plot with decaying matter quickly recycled back into the soil."

However, not everyone seems delighted with Dave's scientific sacrifice, and social media sites have been flooded with tributes to him.

Thousands of people have posted messages on Twitter using the hashtags #justicefordave and #justicefordavetheworm.

Jessy Harvey wrote: "Still saddened by the senseless euthanasia of Dave the earthworm."

Jungle Janet posted: "RIP Dave. You were unique and before your time and it would have been amazing to see a blackbird wrestle with you."

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