"If all the matter in the universe except the nematodes were swept away, our world would still be dimly recognizable, and if, as disembodied spirits, we could then investigate it, we should find its mountains, hills, vales, rivers, lakes and oceans represented by a thin film of nematodes. The location of towns would be decipherable, since for every massing of human beings there would be a corresponding massing of certain nematodes. Trees would still stand in ghostly rows representing our streets and highways. The location of the various plants and animals would still be decipherable, and, had we sufficient knowledge, in many cases even their species could be determined by an examination of their erstwhile nematode parasites."
I love the internets. I only had to type in 'Nematode quote' to find it. It's from from "Nematodes and Their Relationships", published in 1915 by Nathan Augustus Cobb who was apparently known as the father of US nematology.
His genial and humorous
nature will ever be remembered, especially by those who were present at
a certain meeting of the Helminthological Society of Washington. He appeared
with numerous boxes and cartons which contained "A Collection of Holes,"
which he had assembled during his travels, and on them he proceeded to deliver
a solemn and profound dissertation which rocked the audience with laughter.
This was probably a satire on certain members of the society who always
had entirely too much to say about things of which they knew little or