Darwin, The Formation of Vegetable Mould, through the Action of Worms

Punch magazine image caricaturing Darwin's evolutionary theoriesOn 10 October 1881, Charles Darwin published his final book, The Formation of Vegetable Mould, through the Action of Worms, with Observations on their Habits, based on extensive study of the behavior of worms and the effects that they have on the earth’s surface. Worms begins with the individual physiology and behavior of worms before moving to the cumulative effects of their work on the exterior world. Two long chapters on their senses and habits are followed by four chapters cataloguing the results of their labor, including bringing up earth, burying buildings, enriching the soil, and denuding the land. Image: “Man is But a Worm,” Punch, 6 December 1881. This image is in the public domain in the United States as its copyright has expired.


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