Interesting Facts About Snails

Friday, December 12, 2008

  • Snails' bodies produce a thick slime. Because of this slime, they can crawl across the edge of a razor and not get hurt.

  • Some snails have been known to live up to 15 years.

  • Snails are hermaphrodites which means that they have both male and female reproductive organs.

  • Snails usually travel in irregular paths, often traveling in a circle.

  • Snails reply mainly on their sense of touch and smell when finding food because they have very poor eyesight.

  • Snails cannot hear.

  • Snails can retract one or both of their tentacles at a time.

  • Because of the suction created by their slime, a snail can crawl upside down.

  • Snails are nocturnal animals which means they are more active at night.

  • Garden Snails mainly eat garden plants and vegetables, but they will also eat decaying plants and soil.

  • The fastest snails are the speckled garden snails which can move up to 55 yards per hour compared 23 inches per hour of most other land snails.

  • Garden snails hibernate during the winter and live on their stored fat.

  • Garden snails breathe with lungs.

  • Garden snails evolved from sea snails about 600 million years ago.

  • The garden snail is cooked and eaten as a delicacy called escargot

  • May 24th is National Escargot Day

  • World's largest snail is the Australian trumpet (Syrinx aruanus), a sea species from the shores of northern and western Australia which can grow up to 77.2 cm (30 inches) in shell length, while the flesh

  • weighs up to 18 kg (40lbs).

  • The longest snail is Parenteroxenos doglieli, a parasite in the body cavity of the sea cucumber.

  • Cymbium proboscidalis, from the shores of West Africa, grows up to 7-8 kg (15-17 pounds) and the body is so large that the shell remains like a beanie. Brought on ground, the snail's weight decreases to a quarter. Locals make from this snail a dish called tibuden, adding rice and fish. Some sea rabbits (which are sea snails lacking a shell) can be 30 cm (1 ft) long and weigh 6.5 kg (14 pounds).

  • The largest snail you could see in your garden is the Giant African Snail or Tiger Snail (Achatina achatina), which can be 30 cm (1 ft) long. Giant Apple Snail (Pomacea maculata) is the largest freshwater snail, with a shell 15 cm (0.5 ft) and weighing 600 g (1.5 pounds).

  • Garden snails have up to 14,175 teeth! They are all located on their tongue (radula).

  • The snails Littoraria irrorata on the eastern shores of US farm! They bite the stems of sea grass to weaken them, and then they fertilize the place with their feces. This way they favor the development of a fungus on which they feed.

  • French researchers discovered that the digestive secretions of the garden snail are effective against stomach ulcer. 10 mg of this powder led to a decrease by 42 % of the human stomach acidity. The product was also effective against chronic bronchitis.

  • The snail slime was found by American researchers to be an excellent scaring factor. Snail slime is also used in some beauty products...

  • Most ground snails are peaceful veggies (well, not exactly all), but the marine species can be top predators of the sea. They are armed with a harpoon like weapon (named toxoglossan radula, snails modified "tongue") injecting a deadly venom into their victims.

  • This way, they can catch in a fraction of a second fish "for dinner". Some of these venoms are the most potent on the planet, like in the case of the predatory marine snail Conus magus, from coral reefs. They can grow up to 23 cm in length and eat from marine worms, small fish, mollusks (clams and other marine snails, including other cone snails.

  • Its poison has a greater power than morphine, but it acts in an entirely different way. Some cone snails can kill a human being with their venom.

  • The snail venom impairs a particular type known as N-type calcium channels, crucial in determining some kinds of pain sensations. A pharmaceutical company has developed synthetic chemicals that also inhibit N-type calcium channels, decreasing pain. These new drugs could be employed to shut off persistent acute pain where other painkillers have not succeeded, or are not recommended, like in the case of patients with cancer or other very severe conditions.

  • In some areas, like New Guinea, the shells of sea snails were used for long as currency!

  • Some sea snail produce sulfuric acid which they use for dissolving the shells of the clams on which they feed... No need the mentions this is the most potent acid of all.

  • Because of their moist skin, common snails are most active in damp weather and at night.

  • Common snails have pale grey moist skin. At the front end are four tentacles, the shorter two are for feeling and the longer pair are eye stalks. The shell of these snails is light brown with darker brown bands following the spiral of the shell. The shell colouration varies in its intensity from pale yellow to almost black.

  • They are common and widespread in Britain and Europe.

  • Common snails live in varied habitats. They are often found in gardens, parks, forests and dunes.

  • They are herbivores and feed on decaying vegetation, algae, fungi, lichens and plant leaves. As a part of their herbivorous diet they often feed on garden plants and are considered by some to be pests. Common snails have a symbiotic bacteria in their crop that enables them to digest cellulose - they have been known to feed on damp paper and cardboard.

  • Because of their moist skin, common snails are most active in damp weather and at night. When conditions become too dry, the snail will retreat into its shell and seal the entrance with a parchment-like barrier known as an epiphragm. Snails can often be found in this state under rocks in gardens or on a wall in a sheltered corner. When sealed away like this the snail goes into a state of suspended animation and can survive for several months without water.

  • Common snails feed by scraping a ribbon-like tongue covered in horny teeth called a radula, over their food. This allows them to scrape algae and lichen from the surface of rocks and walls. You can sometimes see the trails they leave behind as they eat their way through the algae on a damp wall.

  • Common snails, like all land snails, are hermaphrodites. This means that they possess both male and female reproductive organs. Despite this they still need to find another snail to mate with. When two snails meet during the breeding season (late spring or early summer), mating is initiated by one snail piercing the skin of the other snail with a calcified 'love dart'. The exact purpose of the 'love dart' is not fully understood but it seems to stimulate the other snail into exchanging small packets of sperm. After mating is complete the snails will produce eggs internally, which are fertilised by the sperm that has been exchanged.

  • Up to about a month after mating the snail lays about a hundred small white eggs in a nest underground in damp soil. If the conditions remain suitable for the eggs, snails will begin to hatch after about 14 days. Newly hatched snails have a small fragile shell and it takes two years for them to reach maturity.

  • Garden snails evolved from sea snails about 600 million years ago.

  • The largest land snail ever found was 15 inches long and weighed 2 pounds!

  • Snails' bodies produce a thick slime. Because of this slime, they can crawl across the edge of a razor and not get hurt.

  • The largest land snail ever found was 15 inches long and weighed 2 pounds!


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SnailsCouldBeAliens... said...

That is a loooooooooooooot of facts! All of which are really interesting! Just found a really amazing snail in my garden... Aren't they just amazing!

Poppy Hopes said...


emilynmommyndaddy said...

my little four year old girl has started a nail sancuary in my newly remodeled i found six snails in a drawer today with grass dirt ect...oh how i love my angels....she said they are people too we have to keep them we went wal mart got a fish tank we are the nail happy place home for my little girl said......i love it....daddy had a few things to say how do we take care of he found this site the both of them loved the info and had an amazing night wtchi.g the snails and giving them showers....

Sunny Marie said...

Actually...snails can hear. The top two tentacles are for seeing and the bottom two act as ears. I've bred snails for years they mainly react to vibration but they can hear

Jacob Rodenburg said...

Great resource...! Fun, entertaining and helps all of us realize just how complex and marvelous the natural world can be. Thanks for taking the time to do this!