Earthworms have simple eye spots that can detect light. This keeps them from surfacing into daylight where they might be dry out or be eaten by predators.
The light-sensing cells on the earthworm can’t be seen with the naked eye. Even though the worm can’t truly “see” … these spots act as detectors and keep the worm out of trouble.
A simple experiment is performed. Redworms are placed into a pizza box that has been lined with damp paper towels. Half the box is put in darkness. After 15 minutes, most of the worms have found their way to the dark half of the box.
These images are screenshots from our Comparative Eye Anatomy Lecture.
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