July 27, 2008 | David F. Coppedge

Can Worms Outsmart Humans?

Worms may seem creepy to some people, but they possess some amazing abilities.  How many of you had to struggle through calculus class, for instance?  Worms know it by heart, reported Greg Soltis at Live Science.  Their brains instinctively apply the logic of calculus to input signals from sensory inputs.  A University of Oregon biologist found that when a roundworm is sensing the presence of food, it essentially takes a derivative to arrive via the shortest possible path.
    In other worm news, engineers may have found a source for “super-strong, lightweight materials for use as construction and repair materials for spacecraft, airplanes, and other applications.”  It’s in the fang-like jaws of a common marine worm, reported Science Daily.  A unique histidine-rich protein identified in the jaw and pincers of this worm “rivals that of human teeth and exceed the hardness of many synthetic plastics,” yet is as lightweight as it is strong.  Nereis virens (sandworm or ragworm; see description), a marine worm prized as bait by Maine fishermen, uses the jaws to capture and cut up its food.

Maybe dogs learned calculus from worms (05/20/2003).  If an evolutionist tries to call this a case of convergent evolution, debate him.  It’s funny to watch them squirm and bark when challenged.

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