Earthworm Nervous Perception
Location: Outside U.S.
Date: Summer 2013
Do earthworms feel pain?
Thanks for the question. If I recall correctly, the nervous system of an earthworm is rather "primitive", so I would not expect that an earthworm feels pain.
I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have more questions.
Eatthworms do not have a brain like advanced organisms, but work with a pair of ganglia. The ganglia functioning is strickly to coordinate the external stimuli and muscles. They are not really developed enough to determnine pain aswe know it.
Earthworm's primitive nervous system gives them at least touch receptors since they withdraw/wiggle when touched or heat applied to them. Since they do not have a brain with a thalamus where pain signals are processed like in mammals, they would not experience pain like us. We just do not know if they can experience some semblance of pain.
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Update: November 2011