Not very long ago, five animals- an earthworm, a grasshopper, a crayfish, a tarpon, and a frog- died. Their goasts got lost on their ways to their phylum heavens. Now they are stuck on Earth.
This is a story of how they met each other's aquaintance and became friends.
All five animals-ghosts were basically thinking the same thing: "How did I miss my ownphylum heaven?" Distracted by their very confused thoughts, the five animals passed through each other.
And they hung out with each other for the rest of eternity!!!
"Use your eyes why don't you?!"
"Oh, I'm so sorry."
"What the h- Hey, you guys aren't like any worms I've seen before."
Everyone stopped and stared at Worm.
"Well, first of all," Tarpon said. "That's because we're not worms... Second of all... you don't have eyes."
"Yeah, but I get a good idea of my surroundings with a different kind of sensing. If you're not worms, what are you?"
Tarpon, Grasshopper, Crayfish, and Frog looked at each other. Tarpon went first.
"I'm Tarpon... I'm a kind of fish."
"What's a fish?" Worm asked.
"Well, fish live underwater... we breathe with our gills- they take in oxygen from the water. And we have these flaps- an operculum- that protects our gills. They're on the sides of our heads. Glands on our skin let out slime to help us go through water easily. The limbs we have help us "steer" while we're swimming. We have a skeleton that's reinforced with calcium compunds. We have pretty good smell. Our cardiovascular systems consist of an air sac and a two chambered heart. The air sac makes us more buoyant, and it also helps us hear. In some species of fish, the air sacs are used as respiratory organs that help the gills exchange gases. And our heart... One chamber pumps blood to the gills and the other recieves blood form the body. Oh, we have scales."
"Like dragons!" Exclaimed Worm. "Very interesting. Are you all fishes?"
"No." Said Crayfish. "I'm a crayfish, a crustacean."
"I will explain, my legless friend. Crustaceans have an exoskeleton of chitin, out muscles are attached to the inside of that exoskelton. The exoskeleton is reinforced with calcium carbonate- limestone. Our nervous system is made up of a ventral nerve cord and ganglia. At our head, two cords meet and form out brain. We eat using our mandibles which bite and grind food. We have a dorsal heart- meaning, my heart is on my back. Like Tarpon, I, too have gills."
"Ahh... and do you live underwater?" Worm asked.
"Yes. That is why I need gills to breathe."
Frog stepped forward.
"I'm a frog... I'm an amphibian."
"Yes, I know. Um... I have a skeleton... a full one, a skull, backbone, all that... the backbone protects my spinal cord which joins my brain to make up my nervous system. Er, central nervous system... the peripheral nerbous system is made up by nerves transmitting impulses to and from the central nervous system. As you can see- oh, I suppose you can't... I have four legs. Instead of gills, I have lungs. I spend half my life in water and half out of the water.... My skin is moist- was, when I was alive. My skin used to have mucous glands as well as poison glands that I used to protect myself. My cardiovascular system was composed of a three chambered heart. One chamber pumps blood away, and the other two collect the blood returning to the heart. One of the ventricles delivered the blood to the lungs and skin for gas exchange and the other trasported blood to the rest of the body."
Worm (weird and impossible as it sounds) nodded. "Okay... Grasshopper?"
Grasshopper leaped forward. "I'm a lot like Crayfish there. I actually think we were going to the same heaven there, Cray! Anyway... First, I'll say the things Crayfish and I have in common. We both have exoskeletons made from chitin- mine is waterproofed... I don't know if Cray's is... he lives underwater, so I suppose not. My muscles are attached to my exoskeleton... our nervous systems are the same. The things that are different about us- or at least, I didn't hear Cray mention them- are that I have compound eyes- my eyes have many facets and each facet has it's own lens... My trachea is actually lined with chitin which helps me breathe through holes in my exoskeleton called spiricles... And I'm segmented."
"I'm segmented!!!" Worm said happily.
"Yes, but unlike you, I have distinct grouping of segments."
"Oh... Well, you were interesting too!"
"Now, worm..." Tarpon said. "Would you mind telling us about you?"
"Oh.. OK! .... Um............. All my parts are basically the same. I mean, my head and my tail are easily visible, and I'm pretty sure people can tell which parts are which... but all of me is the same. The inside of me is divided into sections by internal walls. I'm segmented like Grasshopper, but no distinct groupings... and my digestive tract, it's not segmented. I have two sets of muscles- circular and longitudinal. My nervous system is made up of two ventral nerve cords which connect to ganglia... hehe, funny word.. uh, they connect to ganglia in each segment, and I have a pair of cerebral ganglia in my head- my brain, I guess. I have a closed circulatory system made up of dorsal and ventral vessels connected by two vessels per segment. I also have accessory hearts- whatever that means." Then, dejectedly, worm hung his little head. "But I'm nothing special... not like you guys... I mean, I don't even have eyes..."
Sound erupted around worm at that.
"Are you kidding?!"
"I wish I was like you!"
When everyone quieted down, Tarpon said: "I think what everyone is thinking is: "How can such a small body have so much in it?" You had more to say about yourself than Cray!"
"It is true." Crayfish said.
"You really think I'm amazing?" Worm said hopefully.
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