JFOURNIER at mus-nature.ca
Mon Apr 8 14:53:00 EST 1996
>Does anyone have suggestions for anesthetizing earthworms before
>dissecting? My biology classes put the worms in alcohol for 90 seconds
>before dissection and are able to see hearts beating and peristalsis
>occurring. Any research on pain perception of earthworms, or better
>ways to anesthetize the worms? Thanks
Thank you for your humane request. I do believe that earthworms do
feel pain. Ninety seconds in alcohol is not enough for proper relaxation.
Using alcohol, it is best to add the relaxant a few drops or crystals at a
time until the worm no longer responds to stimulus. It takes about 10
minutes but is much better. An alternative to alcohol (highly flammable),
is to use Manganese sulfate, in a 25% saturated solution. It can take
longer and may not be as good as the alcohol drop method.
Canadian Museum of Nature
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