Snail Facts

Snail Facts
Snail is a mollusk that belongs to the class Gastropod. There are thousands of species of snails that are adapted to the life on the ground, in the fresh waters or in the sea. Snails are one of the oldest animals on planet. They appeared on Earth nearly 500 million years ago. Snails represent important source of food for wild animals and humans (they are consumed around the world as delicacy). These animals can be also kept as pets, but they are usually classified as pest because of their ability to destroy garden plants and agricultural crops.
Interesting Snail Facts:
Snail can reach from 0.04 inch to 12 inches in length and from few ounces to 2 pounds of weight. Giant African land snail is the largest snail on the planet.
Snail can be brightly (yellow, orange or red) or inconspicuously colored (white, grey or brown), depending on the habitat.
Body consists of strong, muscular foot and coiled shell. Snail uses the shell as shelter. It quickly retreats into the shell in the case of danger.
Snail's shell grows entire life. Chemically speaking, it consists of calcium carbonate. Diet rich in calcium ensures strong shell.
Snail has two pairs of tentacles on its head. Eyes are located on top of the long tentacles. Short tentacles are equipped with sense of smell. Snail uses sense of smell to find food.
Snail is nocturnal creature (active at night).
Snails don't have teeth. They have organ called radula that consists of thousand miniature tooth-like projections that are used for grinding of food.
Most snails are herbivores and their diet is based on various plants. Some snails are omnivores and their diet consists of various invertebrates and plants.
Land snails breathe via lungs. Snails that live in freshwaters and sea use gills for breathing.
Snails produce slimy mucus that facilitates movement on the ground. They can easily move upside-down on vertical surfaces thanks to this substance.
Snails are the slowest animals on the planet. They move at the speed of 0.5 inches per second.
"Cone snails" are family of nearly 600 species of sea snails. They produce venom that can kill humans.
Some snails hibernate during the winter. They cover themselves with thick layer of mucus which prevents loss of body water. Period of dormancy ends when weather conditions improve.
Snails contain both male and female reproductive organs (animals known as hermaphrodites), but they require partner for the successful reproduction. They exchange packages of sperm and lay up to 100 eggs. Snails lay eggs in the ground. Eggs hatch after 2 to 3 weeks under optimal weather conditions. Snails can reproduce and lay eggs each month.
Snails can survive from 3 to 7 years in the wild and up to 25 years in the captivity.

Related Links:
Animal Facts
Animals Facts