Throughout the rainy season, there are snails everywhere. Literally, everywhere around our home. For a person who spent most of her childhood in the city, I am always fascinated by their abundance and diversity. Snails on trees, walls, doors, plastic containers…you get my point. I just cant help but adore the way they seem to ignore everything and everyone else as they go about their life of adventure.
My mum wasn’t too pleased however. She blames them for doing damage to her garden. At one point, I saw one in her bedroom. I think it came in with some laundry.
So, naturally, I thought it would only be fair to do a piece on these lovely creatures. Besides I really want to share some snail-photos I took along the way.
Popularly known for their lack of speed, here are some other facts about snails:
- Have coiled shells in various sizes, colours and patterns,
- Shell-less snails are called slugs,
- One of the most diverse animals on earth,
- Live in almost all habitats – land, freshwater and sea,
- Range largely in size,
- Some garden snails enjoy eating together from the same source,
- Certain species have hairy shells,
- Most active at night,
- Are hermaphrodites – lay and conceive eggs when mating,
- An average adult moves at a speed of 1 millimeter persecond – making them one of the slowest creatures on earth,
- They leave behind a trail of slyme as they move,
- Land Snails are usually herbivorous feeding on vegetables, fruits, soft barks, algae and dirt,
- Some other species are carnivores, even feeding on other snails,
- They can see and smell but cannot hear,
- Widely regarded as agricultural and garden pests,
- Average lifespan of 10 to 15 years in captivity,
- Certain land, freshwater and seawater snails are eaten in many tribes and cultures,
- The ancient myth of Cupid’s arrow may be based on early observations of the love dart behaviour of some snails,
- Some varieties of snail produce a secretion that is a natural, colour-fast dye,
- The Giant African Land Snail, a species endemic of Africa, can grow up to 12 inches,
- Sometimes kept as household pets,
- Considered as a symbol of rebirth and joy by Pre-Columbian Americans,
- Play an important role in mythology of ancient Greece, Indonesia, Hawaii and India.
So next time you come across these lovely creatures, remember how fascinating they are!