If you cut of a portion of an earthworm’s tail, it can grow back and the rest of the worm can survive. However, if you cut an earthworm in half, it will die because it can damage the earthworm’s organs (including its five hearts!). Do not try this experiment at home… you will most likely just end up with a dead earthworm.
Worms do have a remarkable capacity to regenerate injured parts, but this capacity is limited. if you accidentally cut an earthworm in half, half of the worm will die and half will live. The piece with the saddle (the fatter, pink part) will survive as the anterior end can grow a new tail. The tail, however, cannot regenerate a new head.
If the anterior (head) region remains intact the worm can potentially survive, and may even grow a new tail. The lower fragment however, once cut off from the rest of the worm, will simply die. There are, however, types of worms that can regenerate from body fragments: flat worms such as planarians can split in half to produce two new worms (which is done through asexual reproduction).
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