Thursday, September 07, 2006

Worms on a planet

OK, so it doesn't have the cachet of "Snakes on a Plane," but these aren't just any worms. They are three feet long, pinkish in color, smell like a lily and spit in their defense.

Conservationists in Washington are asking the government to protect the Giant Palouse Earthworm under the Endangered Species Act. Long thought to be extinct, the worm was rediscovered in the past year in the Palouse region along the Washington-Idaho border. “This worm is the stuff that legends and fairy tales are made of,” said worm supporter Steve Paulson. “What kid wouldn’t want to play with a 3 foot-long, lily smelling, soft pink worm that spits?”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hasn't seen the petition supporting the protection of the worm, said agency spokesman Tom Buckley, but he says the discovery of the worm could be a "bonanza" for fishermen.

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