Snails are very slow moving creatures and most people find them to be boring. However, there are some very interesting facts about them that can help you to see them in a new light. They aren’t brainless creatures as many people think.
Many species of snails actually hibernate during the colder months of the year. They cover their bodies with a thin layer of mucus which prevents them from drying out. Sometimes snails are also able to hibernate in the summer to survive if they are faced with a severe drought. They live off of the stored up fat during this time of year. This process is one of the many reasons why they have been able to survive for a million years.
The life span for snails depends on their habitat and the species. Some of them only live for about 5 years. However, others in the wild are believed to be at least 25 years old. Many researchers believe the life span of snails is decreasing due to humans destroying their habitat and due to pollution.
The largest land snail recorded weighed only 2 pounds and was 15 inches long. It was discovered in 1976. Others are extremely small being only a few centimeters long when they are adults and weighing just a couple of ounces.
As snails move they leave behind slime. This slime is like a powerful form of suction for them. This is why they are even able to move upside down, around corners, and other comical situations. It is a myth that this type of slime is going to make humans ill. Many people worry that snails being in their garden will ruin the foods grown there and make them unfit for consumption but that is all false.
“Snails are considered to be one of the slowest creatures though on the entire Earth”
Garden snails are small species that can move about 55 yards per hour. While they don’t move fast, they do move at a very steady pace. They are believed to be one of the slowest creatures though on the entire Earth.
If you watch their movements they take on strange routes. For example instead of moving in a straight line they will complete a circle pattern. It is this type of behavior that has given them a stereotype as not being very intelligent. It isn’t really known why they do this though.
“Snails will die if they consume either salt or sugar”
They have the reproductive organs of both males and females which categorizes them as hermaphrodites. However, the myth that they can create offspring on their own is false. They must mate with another and then both of them will have the ability to lay eggs.
Snails don’t see very well so they have to rely upon their good sense of smell to help them find their prey. They also aren’t able to hear.
They are nocturnal animals which means most of their movements take place at night.
Snails range in size from 2-3 cm to 15 inches in length.
Snails don’t like the brightness of sunlight which is why you will find them out more on cloudy days. If you keep on in an aquarium you want to make sure that too much sunlight doesn’t filter into the room. This can cause the snail to stop eating and to spend most of its time inside of the shell.
Snails will die if they consume either salt or sugar. Make sure you don’t offer these types of items to them when you see them or when you have one in captivity because their bodies can’t process these items.
The Giant African Land Snail is known to eat more than 500 different types of plants.
Snails are very strong and can lift up to 10 times their own body weight in a vertical position.
It is believed that there are at least 200,000 species of mollusks out there including snails. Many of them haven’t been found and classified yet.
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.
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.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.
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.Information Source & Courtesy : http://www.snail-world.com/, softpedia, Image Courtesy : Ukrainian photographer Vyacheslav Mishchenko catches these unbelievably stunning up-close photographs of snails.
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