Earthworms Eat Dirt
What Eats Dirt? Earthworms Do. Photo:Luis Miguel Bugallo Sanchez

What eats dirt?

You probably already know that worms eat dirt. Dirt—also known as “soil” and “earth”—contains small bits of leaves and pieces of plants that earthworms digest and turn into food energy. Tiny bits of rock in the dirt also help worms to digest their food.

But many other animals also eat dirt. Animals such as elephants, chimpanzees, parrots and bats all like to eat dirt from time to time. The dirt contains important minerals that help these animals stay healthy.

Some animals have special places that they visit just because the dirt there is especially tasty.

Another kind of “dirt” that is sometimes eaten by humans, apes and other primates is nasal mucus, also called boogers. Eating boogers probably won’t hurt you, but it’s not a pleasant thing to watch. It’s much better to blow your nose in a handkerchief or a tissue.

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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.