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article imageRecord-breaking annelid 'murdered in the name of science'

By Karen Graham     Nov 5, 2016 in Internet
U.K.'s Natural History Museum is under attack from the Twitterati, with demands for "Justice for Dave," a prodigious earthworm that has allegedly been murdered in the name of science.
Actually, at 40 centimeters (15.7 inches) long and weighing approximately 26 grams, the earthworm named Dave has been added to the record books as the largest earthworm ever found in Britain, reports Mashable.
The previous record was held by a Scottish earthworm found on the island of Rum. He was 39.6 centimeters (15.6 inches) and only weighed in at 15 grams, somewhat of a lightweight compared to Dave.
Anyway, after the Natural History Museum bestowed the honor of being the largest annelid ever found in Britain on Dave, they unceremoniously killed him.
The giant earth-eater was found in a garden plot in Widnes, Cheshire by Paul Rees, whose stepson George named the worm "Dave." But true nature-lovers that they were, they realized they may have found a record-breaking Lumbricus terrestris, so they packed up Dave and took him to the museum, reports the Register.
The Guardian reports that Natural History Museum scientist Emma Sherlock, who chairs the Earthworm Society of Britain, said: “I was bowled over by the size of this worm when I opened the plastic box they sent it in. Not only is it really long, it is almost twice as heavy as any other wild earthworm ever seen, weighing the same as a small chocolate bar.”
But the fireworks started when the BBC Breakfast show reported that the amazing earthworm was "put to sleep" and added to the national collection. Twitter erupted almost immediately, with the outrage becoming so impassioned, according to Digital Spy, that it was difficult to tell who was serious and who may have been joking.
Even PETA has stepped in, voicing their revulsion to the unnecessary killing of Dave solely for the purpose of exhibition. PETA told Digital Spy: "Public opinion on the killing of animals for frivolous reasons has changed since Victorian times, and today, we recognize that real education about animals comes through observation and respect, not from killing them and sticking their corpses in glass cases."
More about Earthworm, Dave, annelid, Natural history museum, United Kingdom