‘Are snails amazing?’ was a rainy day, walking to school question. As I explained in an earlier post, we often see slugs and snails on rainy days because they like cool and damp outdoor places.
I’ve always thought of snails as being a bit of a garden pest – eating my plants and leaving silvery trails all over the path! But are there any amazing things can snails do? Let’s find out: here are ten super snail facts…
(1) According to the Guinness Book of Records, the largest type of snail is an African giant snail, which can have a shell up to 27cm long and weigh up to 900g!
(2) Every year, a snail will grow a new spiral ring on its shell. So, you can tell how old a snail is by counting the number of spiral rings it has on its shell!
(3) Some snails have hairy shells! We don’t really know why but we think that the hairs might help them to hold on to wet leaves.
(4) Some snails hibernate through the Winter or during periods of drought (very hot and dry weather). To do this, they cover themselves in a layer of mucus and use the fat stored inside their bodies to make the energy they need to stay alive.
(5) Snails can’t hear but they can see and smell.
(6) The snail brain is very small but is divided into four sections. The structure of their brains means that snails are able to think and make decisions.
(7) Snails have two pairs of tentacles on their heads – one pair has eyes at the tips, the other pair is used for sensing.
(8) Snails are stronger than you might think – they can carry things up to ten times their own body weight!
(9) Some garden snails can move at a speedy 55 yards per hour. That means it would take the fastest snail just 32 hours to travel one mile!
(10) Snails are hermaphrodite, which means that are neither male (boy) or female (girl) but a bit of both! But, a snail can’t make baby snails on its own – it has to mate with another snail for reproduction to occur.