Clade: Nephrozoa, Bilateria
Phylum Annelida is a big phylum belonging to the worms segment. There are around 17,000 species of Phylum Annelida. It is also known as Annelida, segmented worms, and ringworms. An enthusiastic gardener often comes across Annelida and one can find around one million such earthworms in an acre of land. Phylum Annelida can thrive under different conditions like fresh maters, marine waters, and even in wet terrestrial zones. Annelids are invertebrate beings and are bilaterally symmetrical in shape. The word Phylum is taken from a Latin word, ‘annellus’ meaning a small ring. Hence the name is justified as Annelida are quite smaller in size. An ideal Phylum Annelida can be of a few millimeters while can grow up to 3 meters. Phylum Annelida is very useful in gardening. They are responsible to generate rich soils to grow healthy plants. Leeches, earthworms, polychaetes, and lugworms are some of the known examples of Annelida.
A mature Phylum Annelida
Characteristics of a Phylum Annelida
- The body of a Phylum Annelida is segmented, so it is also known as segmented worms.
- Phylum Annelida shows an association of its various organs.
- The organ system has different levels exhibiting acute organ differentiation.
- Annelida breaths through its body surface.
- It is triploblastic in nature.
- Annelida is characterized by an efficient digestive and circulatory system.
- Its blood contains hemoglobin, so the blood has red color.
- The excretory organ of Phylum Annelida is the Nephridia.
- The earthworm move using its Setae.
- Regeneration is a unique characteristic of a Phylum Annelida.
- The leeches are coelomate as there is a coelom or body cavity.
- The gender of the Phylum Annelids may remain separated or united. So they are hermaphrodites in nature.
- A Phylum Annelida can reproduce both sexually and asexually.
Phylum Annelida is helpful for the farmers
A Phylum Annelida is a human-friendly organism as its presence in the soil makes the soil texture-rich. Their burrowing nature helps the farmers to plow the field and expose the rich texture for cultivation. The Annelida eat the soil while plowing. The earthworms possess an efficient digestive system digesting the inorganic substances and dead leaves in the field. The phenomenon helps the soil to get off its upper layer and the rich texture of the soil erupts. It helps the soil to get adequate water and air to support the growth of the plants and crops. Further, the droppings of Phylum Annelida enrich the soil fertility and pave for suitable gardening or cultivation.
Phylum Annelida in a field
You can easily find a Phylum Annelida
If you are walking in a field or a garden, you can easily identify a Phylum Annelida. The organism is brown, long, and bilaterally symmetrical in shape. Its entire body is segmented from the head to the tail. It is a distinguishing characteristic of a Phylum Annelida. One can come across the earthworm in numbers during a rainy day. Phylum Annelida is susceptible to moist places, so a garden on a rainy day is their favorite spot. Though they like to live in a moist place, they can also thrive in oceans or freshwaters.
Phylum Annelida tilling a field
Ecological significance of Phylum Annelida
The Phylum Annelida are very effective in maintaining the fertility of the soil in a field or a garden. A marine Annelida continues the burrowing activity even underwater. The species thrive in the tidal zones and coral reefs. The burrowing activities of the Annelida there enhance the circulation of oxygen and water into the sediments of the water bodies. The phenomenon of the burrowing activities of Phylum Annelida leads to the growth in the numbers of small animals and aerobic bacteria. The existence of Phylum Annelida in the water bodies plays a significant role in upholding the ecology of marine life.
The earthworms and leeches of the Phylum Annelida kingdom have certain medicinal values to humans. In some countries like China and India, leeches are used to suck blood from the body for proper circulation of the blood. Phylum Annelida has a multi-faceted role in preserving the environment by preserving the salinity of the water bodies, increasing the oxygen content, and reducing the pollution level.