Apoptotic cell death in the nematode C. elegans culminates with the removal of the dying cells from the organism. This removal is brought forth through a rapid and specific engulfment of the doomed cell by one of its neighbors. Over half a dozen genes have been identified that function in this process in the worm. Many of these engulfment genes have functional homologs in Drosophila and higher vertebrates. Indeed, there is growing evidence supporting the hypothesis that the pathways that mediate the removal of apoptotic cells might be, at least in part, conserved through evolution.