Slow and Shelled

Snail-30.4.17-BlogA man went to a fancy dress party with a woman on his back.

‘What have you come as?’ said the host.

‘A snail,’ the man replied.

‘So who is this lady on your back?’

‘That’s Michelle.’

OK, so that wasn’t very funny. But snails are known for their shells, and also for their very slow pace. But what else do we know about snails? Here’s a few facts about the slow-paced and shelled snail:

  • Snails have no legs. Instead they move around by sliding over a thick slime secreted by their bodies. This is what makes up a ‘snail trail’
  • The slime is so thick that a snail could slide over the edge of a razorblade without hurting itself at all
  • Like slugs, snails will die if they come into contact with salt. It sucks all the water from their bodies and the dehydration kills them. NEVER put salt on a slug or snail – it’s cruel
  • Snails are neither male nor female. They are hermaphrodites, which means they Snail-Climbing-30.4.17are both male and female at the same time
  • Theoretically a snail could mate with itself and produce offspring. In practice though they will find a partner to mate with
  • Snails prefer darkness to light. They’re most active at night but will venture out on dark or rainy days
  • A snail’s favourite food is lichen or algae. They scrape this from rocks or walls with their rough tongues. Look for the patterns they leave in the green patches of walls and pavements
  • Their tongues are so rough because they are covered in over 14,000 tiny teeth!
  • The ‘feelers’ on a snail are actually sense organs. They have four (actually called tentacles) – two with ‘eyes’ on their ends and two with ‘noses’. They have no ears though so are completely deaf
  • The snail has a top speed of about 50 metres per hour. At that rate it would take a snail a day and a half to travel just one mile
  • Garden snails are edible and are actually a delicacy. You may see them on the menu in a restaurant under the name escargot
  • The largest land snail was 30cm long and weighed 1kg
  • The longest lived snail known made it to 25 years old

If you like reading about the natural world then you might also like our Nature quizzes. We have more than sixty of them and they’re all free to play. Have a look and see what other natural wonders you can discover today!

I hope you enjoyed these snail facts courtesy of Education Quizzes. I’ll leave you with a question – where do you find giant snails? Do you know? Then I’ll tell you – on the end of giants’ fingers!

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