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The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms : With Observations on Their Habits

By Darwin, Charles

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Book Id: WPLBN0000632869
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 214.47 KB
Reproduction Date: 2005
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Title: The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms : With Observations on Their Habits  
Author: Darwin, Charles
Language: English
Subject: Literature, Literature & thought, Writing.
Collections: Blackmask Online Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: Blackmask Online


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Darwin, C. (n.d.). The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms : With Observations on Their Habits. Retrieved from

Introduction: The share which worms have taken in the formation of the layer of vegetable mould, which covers the whole surface of the land in every moderately humid country, is the subject of the present volume. This mould is generally of a blackish colour and a few inches in thickness. In different districts it differs but little in appearance, although it may rest on various subsoils. The uniform fineness of the particles of which it is composed is one of its chief characteristic features; and this may be well observed in any gravelly country, where a recently?ploughed field immediately adjoins one which has long remained undisturbed for pasture, and where the vegetable mould is exposed on the sides of a ditch or hole. The subject may appear an insignificant one, but we shall see that it possesses some interest; and the maxim ?de minimis non curat lex,? does not apply to science. Even Elie de Beaumont, who generally undervalues small agencies and their accumulated effects, remarks: {1} ?La couche tres?mince de la terre vegetale est un monument d'une haute antiquite, et, par le fait de sa permanence, un objet digne d'occuper le geologue, et capable de lui fournir des remarques interessantes.? Although the superficial layer of vegetable mould as a whole no doubt is of the highest antiquity, yet in regard to its permanence, we shall hereafter see reason to believe that its component particles are in most cases removed at not a very slow rate, and are replaced by others due to the disintegration of the underlying materials.

Table of Contents
Table of Contents: The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the action of worms with observations of their habits, 1 -- Charles Darwin, 1 -- Introduction, 1 -- Chapter I -- HABITS OF WORMS, 2 -- Chapter II -- HABITS OF WORMS -- continued, 13 -- Chapter III -- THE AMOUNT OF FINE EARTH BROUGHT UP BY WORMS TO THE -- SURFACE, 29 -- Chapter IV -- THE PART WHICH WORMS HAVE PLAYED IN THE BURIAL OF -- ANCIENT BUILDINGS, 40 -- Chapter V -- THE ACTION OF WORMS IN THE DENUDATION OF THE LAND, 52 -- Chapter VI -- THE DENUDATION OF THE LAND -- continued, 58 -- Chapter VII -- Conclusion, 68


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