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August 19, 2017

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French worms wriggle as far north as Ireland

PARIS--A community of French earthworms has been discovered stealthily colonising a farm in Ireland, possibly aided by global warming to thrive so far north of their natural habitat, a study said.

No clash seems to be looming as the French worms prefer to eat a different part of the soil as their Irish cousins, according to a report Wednesday in the Royal Society Journal Biology Letters.

But their picky palate may hold another danger — possibly unleashing Earth-warming carbon dioxide left hitherto undisturbed by the native worms.

Scientists studying earthworms on a farm in Dublin last year, discovered "abundant populations" of a species endemic to France's Aquitaine region more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) to the south.

Some also live naturally in northern Spain, Sardinia and parts of northern Africa.

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