- Surprising Facts About Snails
- Common But Special Species
- 10 Interesting Snail Facts (Facts for Kids)
- On A Passing Note…
Surprising Facts About Snails
Snails’ progenitors are one of the most punctual known sorts of creatures on the planet. There is fossil confirmation of crude gastropods going back to the late Cambrian time frame; this implies they lived almost 500 million years prior. There are numerous kinds of snails, yet, they, on a very basic level, vary on the grounds that they are oceanic or earthly. The previous are adjusted to living in the ocean or assemblages of crisp water, yet the last live only ashore, despite the fact that in moist territories.
Snails are gastropod mollusks and they are members of the phylum Mollusca and the class Gastropoda. Snail’s length ranges from a couple of centimeters to 12 inches. Snails are very common and that is an issue. They are so common that North America alone has about 500 native species of land snails.
There is barely anyone on earth who has never heard about snails before. There are no less than 200,000 types of mollusks out there including snails, albeit just 50,000 are grouped. Familiarity however they say breeds contempt. We see them in our gardens, we eat them as meals. Some people even rare them especially in order to sell them or just eat them depending on the person’s jurisdiction.
Common But Special Species
The fact that they are very common has made so many people to overlook some very amazing facts about them. Yes! There are some very intriguing facts about snails that are really worth knowing about. Snails are very special species of animals and when they feel that their lives is in danger, they often retreat into their shell in order to be able to guard themselves against the imminent danger that may cost them their lives.
It is worthwhile to note that the largest land snail is the Achatina achatina, and that is the Giant African Snail. Don’t be deceived by the somewhat rugged nature of their shell, they actually have no backbone. Snails hatch from eggs which are eaten by some people across the globe in a meal they call ‘white Caviar’.
The act of raising snails for nourishment is known as heliciculture. For reasons for development, the snails are kept in a dull place in a wired pen with dry straw or dry wood. Coppiced wine-grape vines are frequently utilized for this reason. Amid the blustery period, the snails leave hibernation and discharge the greater part of their bodily fluid onto the dry wood/straw. The snails are then arranged for cooking. Their surface when cooked is somewhat chewy.
And also being savored as gourmet nourishment, a few types of land snails give an effectively collected wellspring of protein to numerous individuals in poor networks far and wide. Numerous land snails are profitable in light of the fact that they can feast upon an extensive variety of agrarian squanders, for example, shed leaves in banana ranches. In a few nations, mammoth African land snails are created financially for sustenance.
In Bulgaria, snails are generally cooked in a broiler with rice or browned in a dish with vegetable oil and red paprika powder. Before they are utilized for those dishes, notwithstanding, they are altogether bubbled in high temp water (for up to an hour and a half) and physically removed from their shells. The two species most generally utilized for sustenance in the nation are Helix lucorum and Helix pomatia.
Land snails, freshwater snails, and ocean snails are altogether eaten in various nations (essentially Spain, Philippines, Morocco, Nigeria, Algeria, Cameroon, France, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Bulgaria, Belgium, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Cyprus, Ghana, Malta, Terai of Nepal, China, Northeast India states, for example, Manipur, Tripura and parts of the United States). In specific parts of the world, snails are seared. For instance, in Indonesia, they are browned as satay, a dish known as satisfying kakul. The eggs of certain snail species are eaten in a manner like the way caviar is eaten.
Snails also have medicinal value to them as the mucus of the garden snail is used to treat wrinkles, spots, and scars on the skin. Interestingly, most snail species don’t have any distinctive sex, they are mostly hermaphrodites and the implication of that is that they have both male and female reproductive organs. Snails don’t have any specific Snails have the conceptive organs of both, male and female, which classify them as bisexuals. Be that as it may, they typically don’t make posterity all alone. They mate with another snail, and afterward, both lay eggs. Interesting, isn’t it?
Another fascinating thing about snails is the rate at which they move. The average speed of a typical snail is about 0.5-0.8 inches per second. What this means is that if they keep moving without having any reason to stop moving, they would require more than a whole week before they will be able to complete 1 kilometer.
A dry mucus secretion called epiphragm is used by land snails cover the entrance of their shell, a few however do this differently by employing a structure and this is often found in the aquatic snails and the name this is called is operculum. It is a fantasy that snail bodily fluid can make people sick. Numerous individuals stress that the snails in their garden will destroy the nourishments developed there and make them unfit for utilization, however that is false. In the face of concrete fact, this accusation against snails do not hold any water at all in any way.
Unlike some animals, snails do not change shells when they grow up. As they keep growing, the shell as well also follows them all through the growth process and there is no shedding of shells in any way. Beetles, rats, mice, turtles, salamanders and some birds are not friendly to snails, they are the natural predators of terrestrial snails.
A typical snail shell has Calcium carbonate as its main component. This may sound very strange but the truth is that some land snails also feed on other terrestrial snails. As a matter of fact, the snails that just hatch the egg has the tendency to eat their shells and even beyond that, they can also other eggs that belongs to other snails. Snails have a quite interesting lifespan too, most snails live from 2 to 5 years, but when under close supervision, some snails have exceeded 10 or even 15 years of age.
Edible snails are “escargot” in France and this is a word that is also used to refer to a meal which is an appetizer that is made with snails. When it comes to courtship, the procedure by which they get along with each other before mating only go on between 2 and 12 hours. Snails serves as a breeding ground for parasites as they are host to several types of parasites. The interesting thing is that most times, the parasites don’t kill the snails themselves but they are capable of affecting or killing their predators or animals that eat the snails. Humans too are not immune to this, any human who eat poorly cooked snails especially the ones that has been infested by parasites will be in trouble and can become seriously ill.
Land snails have their food go through a mouth structure called the radula, and present in this mouth structure are several rows of tiny teeth inside. It is interesting to also know that land snails do not chew their food. What they do with their food is that they scrap it. Land snails are able to carry out respiratory functions because they have to a lung. Snails reproduce rapidly and massively and the proof of that is the fact that just one garden snail (Helix aspersa) can have as much as 430 hatchlings after a year. That is really massive considering the fact that we are talking about just one snail and not a family of snails.
There is a positive correlation between the size of the shell of a snail and the age of that snail. Snails are increasingly become endangered species and are in danger of extinction. Species like the Aaadonta constricta and Aaadonta fuscozonata, and others of the genus Aaadonta and Achatinella in particular are in critical danger of extinction.
10 Interesting Snail Facts (Facts for Kids)
Apart from the aforementioned facts about snails which is really interesting at that, there are some outstanding facts about snails that would interest kids and we will be exploring them.
1. Snails are trailblazer
Snails by their nature don’t move without leaving a trail. They just have a knack for making their presence felt in any place they have passed through. While moving, snails abandon a trail of bodily fluid behind them. This bodily fluid goes about as a grease to lessen erosion against the surface where they pass. They have a hitch free and smooth journey as a result of this mucus they leave in their wake.
2. Snails are not hasty
When it comes to speed, snails are nothing to write home about. There is nothing that can be called speed that can be alluded to snails. Garden snails (Helix apersa) achieve the best speed of 50 yards for every hour; this is around 0.5 inches every second. While they don’t move quickly, they do move at an unfaltering pace. Without dragging issues unreasonably and without any form of doubt, snails are one of the slowest animals on the Earth. This is the reason why people often have a common saying of comparing slow people with snails by saying ‘as slow as a snail’. Of course this is just a figurative expression because in reality, no one can be as slow as a snail!
3. Snails can see however can’t hear
This may really shock you but it is the truth about snails. Most land snails have two arrangement of arms, the upper one convey the eyes, while the lower one has the olfactory organs. Nonetheless, they don’t have ears or ear trench. As a result of this, they definitely can see but they lack the capacity to hear sounds.
4. Snails are nighttime creatures
Snails are nighttime creatures, which implies the majority of their exercises occur during the evening. Snails don’t care for the daylight, which is the reason you discover them out in abundance during the night or in dark places. This is a very vital information especially for people who plan to rear them or are already raring them because on the off chance that you keep them in an aquarium, ensure that there isn’t excessively daylight in the room, or the snails will quit eating and stow away inside their shell. This will lead to malnutrition and they may end up dying as a result of this which will leave the person rearing them at loss because all the money, time and energy that has been invested in having a successful snail farm has been wasted and futile. In order to prevent such occurrence, the farmer must be wise in ensuring that the snails are not being exposed to light excessively.
5. Snail cannot survive salt
Snails and salt are not friendly at all. You have signed a death sentence for a snail when you allow them come in contact with salt. People who try to control the rate of snail activity in their gardens understand this and they take advantage of this knowledge in controlling their activities and population. Snails will end up dying on the off chance that you put salt on them. Ensure they are not in contact with salt on the off chance that you have one you are rearing because you must neber be oblivious to the fact that their body lacks the capacity to process salt.
6. Exceptionally Hungry
Snails in spite of their miniature size eat a whole lot. They don’t just eat a whole lot, they are also diversified in what they eat and this is one of the reasons that makes them a menace to gardens. They wreak havoc on plants in the garden as a result of their almost insatiable desire for food. The Giant African Land Snail for example is known to eat in excess of 500 unique kinds of plants. As a result of this, the gardener really has to watch out for them.
7. Little, not frail
It is interesting to know that despite the fact that snails are generally not large in size that does not in any way translate to weakness. They are actually very strong in their own way too. For example, snails are solid and can lift up to 10 times their body weight in a vertical position. That is quite incredible for a creature quite small in size.
8. A few snails Hibernate
Snails are not generally known to be active. As matter of fact, a few types of snails sleep amid the colder long periods of the year. They cover their bodies with a thin layer of bodily fluid, which keeps them from drying out. Some of the time snails additionally complete a comparable procedure in the mid-year, called estivation, to survive on the off chance that it is a dry period. These procedures are presumably one reason they have made due for many years.
9. Snails can have a long life
The lifespan of snails relies upon their living space as well as the species in question. It is fascinating to discover that some of them live for around five years. Be that as it may, snails have the propensity to live as long as 25 years of age especially those that are being deliberately reared. With adequate care while under supervision, snails can really live for a very long time.
10. There are goliath snails
Snails are generally not popular for their speed and especially their size. However, there are some species of snails that are very gigantic in nature. The greatest land snail recorded was 12 inches long and weighed close to 2 pounds. The species of this snail in question happen to be a Giant African Snail. Different species are small being just a couple of centimeters long when they are grown-ups and only two or three ounces in weight.
On A Passing Note…
A lot of people just cannot see anything fascinating about sails at all. Whenever they think about snails, all that comes to the mind is food and pest. Many people only see snails in the light of being pests. Anytime they think about snails, all they can see is a monstrous creature that has the ability to leave destruction at its wake when given an opportunity in the garden.
For some other people, all they can see about snails is their nutritional value. Anytime they see a snail, they are already fantasizing about how they will land in their stew. However, it is important to note that snails are not just pests or food. They are far beyond just that.
Snails are amazing creatures that have been given to us a gift by nature not just so that we can eat them or kill them but to also savor their beauty as well as their unique features. This article should have helped you see that you need to also appreciate certain things about the wonderful creatures around us and snails in particular for the purpose of this article.
It is because the understanding of such things will go a long way in ensuring that we are able to take proper care of these creatures when they are under our custody to forestall occurrences of unforetold loss.
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