What Is an Elephant Snail?

The elephant snail is a species of large sea snail and a mollusk in the family Fissurellidae. Its name is derived from its tendency to swing its tentacles from side to side as it moves about.

Native to the coast of southern Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand, the elephant snail is easily identified by its shiny, black mantle and off-white shell. Reaching lengths up to 4 inches, the mollusks spend the day hiding under rocks and in crevices of the sea floor, emerging at night to eat algae. The snails use powerful suction to stay attached to the surface of rocks.