Slug Facts

Slug Facts
Slug is a mollusk that belongs to the class Gastropod. There are thousands of species of slugs that can be found all over the world. They are adapted to the life on the ground and in the sea. Slugs play important role in natural ecosystems. They remove dead, decaying plant matter and serve as important source of food for various species of animals. In many areas, slugs are classified as pests because they are able to seriously damage garden plants and crops.
Interesting Slug Facts:
Slugs can reach ΒΌ inch to 10 inches in length, depending on the species.
Slugs can be whitish yellow, grey, brownish or black colored. Body is often covered with various dark markings.
Slugs don't have teeth. Instead, they have organ called radula composed of thousand miniature protrusions that facilitate grinding of food.
Slug has two pairs of retractable tentacles on top of the head (they can be shortened). Light-sensitive eye spots are located on top of the long tentacles. Sense of touch and smell are located on the short tentacles. Each lost tentacle can be regenerated.
Slug is able to vertically flatten its body and elongate it 20 times, when it needs to enter tiny holes.
Unlike snails, slugs don't have shell. Their entire body is one strong, muscular foot covered in slime that facilitates movement on the ground and prevents injuries. Slugs can safely move across rocks and other sharp objects including blade of a razor.
Slug uses chemicals in the slime to find the way home (slimy trail facilitates navigation). Dried slime leaves silvery trail.
Slug has only one lung. It is connected with atmosphere by tiny opening on the right side of the body. Besides via lung, slug can breathe via skin.
Slug spends majority of time in the cool, moist underground tunnels. It emerges at night to feed on leaves, seed sprouts, roots and decaying vegetation. Some species of slugs are carnivores. They feed on other slugs and earthworms.
Slug avoids hot weather because it easily loses body water. It is mostly active during the spring and autumn.
According to some studies in the UK, one cubic meter of garden contains 200 slugs. One acre of farmland contains more than 250.000 slugs.
Slugs contain both male and female reproductive organs (they are hermaphrodites). Even though they can produce offspring on their own, they prefer to find partners and to exchange packages of sperm.
Slug lays 20 to 100 eggs on the surface of the soil (usually under the leaves) couple of times per year. One slug can produce up to 90.000 babies in a lifetime.
Incubation period depends on the weather conditions. Eggs sometimes hatch after couple of years of dormancy.
Slug can survive from 1 to 6 years in the wild. Females live longer than males.

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