There are more than 15,000 species of known nematodes, many many more that are unclassified. Thousands can be find in any handful of soil, sometimes in your local drinking fountain. An individual may contain up to 27 million eggs, and "lay" 200,000 in a day. Nematodes cause so many interesting diseases, ranging from pinworms to elephantaisis in humans, and root-knot and ear cockle in crops. Clearly, there is a lot of integrative biology to learn from them... much more than their "model" system status implies!One recent article addressed the ecology of C. elegans, concluding: "Although [C. elegans] has traditionally been considered a soil nematode, we could not find it in soil but frequently recovered it from snails."
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