A lot of people think that snails are slow moving, dull or lazy creatures, where as some think that they are very wise as they are carrying their homes on their backs. Well, these little wanderers are very interesting creatures. To begin with the snails are not as brainless as they are made out to be. They are mistakenly called slugs sometimes but they are not. Slugs are snail-like animals that naturally lack a shell, or have only an internal shell.
A snail has only one foot and moves with a series of muscular movements like waves that pass along the bottom of the foot. It also produces a slime from a gland under its mouth, which leaves a trail wherever it goes. It acts as a suction, and it helps the snail climb and descend faster. Remember the snaily rhyme –
Slowly slowly Slowly slowly moves the garden snail, Slowly slowly Slowly slowly leaves a silver trail…
Snails need air and water to survive. They are vegetarians and eat all kind of fruits, leaves and vegetables.
They are nocturnal beings and shy away from sunlight, so they do a lot of moving around in the night. They get to their food by smelling as they have a good sense of smell. They cannot hear as they have no ears. Their bodies are extremely efficient, and they go into hibernation in winters. They also hibernate in summers if there is no food. That is pretty smart huh!
A single garden snail can have 430 babies in an year. Whoa!
They have been here for almost 60 million years which means they must have survived in a lot of extreme situations. Makes them smarter than a lot of species. Humans have just been around for only 200,000 years. Let us wait and watch if we can live for another million years.
Did you know?
Cooked land snails are a delicacy in France and are called Escargots.
The giant African land snail grows to be 15 in (38 cm) from snout to tail, and weigh 1 kg (2 lb).