#339 Lake Pedder Earthworm


Only one of these has ever been seen, back in 1971. It was found in the sandy beach area of Lake Pedder in Tasmania. In 1967 the National park status of the lake was revoked, and plans for hydro-electric dams began. In spite of many protests, the dams went ahead which flooded the earthworm's habitat, causing their extinction. I did not find any pictures of the one worm that was found, but one site did have a good written description. That determined how many segments I have depicted here, it wasn't a random thing. Obviously with only one ever having been found, nothing much is really known about these. They are thought to have eaten algae and microbes. It was said that they were amazing at aerating and improving the quality of the soil at the edge of the lake. This is very much not a life-size painting, the one was a little less than 2 inches long.

I always do as much research as I can in the short time I have before painting every day. Sometimes I end up going down a rabbit hole and find information about other animals that are not even part of the project. While researching this earthworm I was reminded about the Oregon Giant Earthworm. They are endangered, so do not qualify as part of this project. I had not realized they were listed as endangered though. They are over 3 feet long and found only in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. I hope some day to see one! Because I have friends all over the US and in many other countries, I know that some of the names in Oregon might seem difficult for people. Oregon is often pronounced incorrectly even, so I might as well share the proper way to say these names. Oregon is often pronounced "Or-E-gone" but should be more "Or-i-gun". Willamette I hear pronounced as "Will-uh-met" but the way we pronounce it is closer to "Will-am-it". I know these aren't using the correct phonetic representation but it is how I think when trying to explain the words, so it is what you get. I don't mind when people who have never been to Oregon mispronounce it, unless they are news reporters, or in TV shows, that sort of thing. Those people should research how to pronounce things. I saw an old TV crime program about the Bhagwan Shri Rajneesh and the bio-terror attack that happened in the Dalles, Oregon. The narrator kept pronouncing it as "the Dale's". That one was especially annoying because good grief, there are 2 L's in the word, I don't think anyone looking at it would normally say Dale's. I looked it up but the pronunciation offered by Wikipedia (/ˈdælz/) wouldn't make it more clear for me, so I will say it rhymes with "the gals", and yes the name is actually "The Dalles", not just "Dalles".

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