Slugs & Snails

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According to the Department of Entomology at Texas A&M University, slugs prefer to live in damp, cool conditions. Slugs are found around the world and are hardy enough to live in most climates as long as they have moisture.

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  • How Are Snails Born?

    Q: How Are Snails Born?

    A: Snails are born out of white/yellow eggs from their mother or father, as snails are hermaphrodites, and hatch approximately 2 or 4 weeks after being laid. For the baby snails to hatch, the weather has to be the perfect mix of warm and damp weather.
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  • What Do Sea Snails Eat?

    Q: What Do Sea Snails Eat?

    A: Sea snails are generally omnivorous. They eat algae and sometimes feed on smaller snails as well. Some species, such as the cone snail, are predatory sea snails. Smaller cone snails tend to eat marine works, while larger ones can prey on live fish.
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  • What Is the Largest Snail in the World?

    Q: What Is the Largest Snail in the World?

    A: The African giant snail is generally considered to be the world's largest land snail; it can reach a length of 20 centimeters, or about 8 inches. The largest marine snail species is the Australian trumpet, which can reach a length of 91 centimeters, which is over 36 inches.
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  • What Is the Difference Between a Snail Vs. a Slug?

    Q: What Is the Difference Between a Snail Vs. a Slug?

    A: The most-noticeable difference between a snail and a slug is the slug's lack of a shell. On a snail, the shell houses and protects the visceral hump, where the snail's organs are located. A slug, on the other hand, may have an internal "shell," which is more like a calcium deposit, that helps protect the internal organs.
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  • What Is a Slug's Habitat?

    Q: What Is a Slug's Habitat?

    A: According to the Department of Entomology at Texas A&M University, slugs prefer to live in damp, cool conditions. Slugs are found around the world and are hardy enough to live in most climates as long as they have moisture.
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  • Where Do Snails Come From?

    Q: Where Do Snails Come From?

    A: Fossil evidence dating back 550 million years identifies snail-like mollusks inhabiting the sea floor. Several million years later, snails adapted to land, breathing with lungs rather than gills. Snails now live in wide-ranging habitats from deserts to tropical climates, at sea level and in mountainous regions.
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  • How Do Arthropods Move?

    Q: How Do Arthropods Move?

    A: Most arthropods move through their segmental appendages. Their exoskeleton and muscles, which are connected to the inside of the skeleton, act together as a lever system, according to Encyclopedia Brittanica. The exoskeleton provides a large surface area for muscle attachment, supports movement and provides protection from the environment.
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  • How Do Snails Breathe?

    Q: How Do Snails Breathe?

    A: Snails can be divided into two categories when discussing manners of breathing: those with lungs and those with gills. Pulmonate (lung) snails assimilate oxygen through the thin wall ("lung") of their mantel cavity. Other snails breathe using gills.
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  • How Do Snail Shells Grow?

    Q: How Do Snail Shells Grow?

    A: The protoconch, or first shell that a snail is born with, grows with the snail as the animal's mantle -- an organ that lines the shell -- releases new shell material that expands the shell before hardening. This shell the snail was born with becomes the center of the spiral.
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  • Is a Snail a Mammal or a Reptile?

    Q: Is a Snail a Mammal or a Reptile?

    A: Snails are neither mammals nor reptiles. They belong to the phylum Mollusca and are classified as gastropods. Gastropods are characterized as having a single shell that is capable of hiding them completely.
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  • Q: What Do Slugs Eat?

    A: Slugs eat leaves, flowers, vegetables, fruits and decaying matter. Slugs enjoy eating tender, young leaves. They can quickly demolish the contents of a vegetable or flower garden. Most slugs eat at night and are able to consume twice their body weight in food.
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  • Q: What Do Snails Eat?

    A: Snails consist of thousands of different species and consume a wide variety of different diets, although most land snails are herbivorous. For example, the common garden snail consumes cultivated plants, including citrus, while the geography cone snail is a predator of fish. Some snails even prey upon other snails.
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  • Q: How Do Mollusks Breathe?

    A: Aquatic mollusks, such as clams and octopi, typically breathe using gills inside their mantle cavity. Terrestrial mollusks, such as land snails and slugs, breathe using their mantle cavity as a lung.
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  • Q: What Are the Four Parts of the Body of Most Mollusks?

    A: The mollusk has four body parts that consist of mantle, visceral mass, shell and foot. Each one has its own specific purpose. The types of mollusks are so varied that it is difficult to compare each one.
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  • Q: What Is the Life Cycle of a Snail?

    A: The life cycle of a snail starts with the young hatching, then progresses to the adolescent snail feeding and resting until it reach the age of reproduction, at which time the snail mates and lays eggs. Eggs are deposited in a nest below the soil.
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  • Q: Do Snails Have Teeth?

    A: Snails do not have teeth like humans or mammals. Instead, like most mollusks, snails have radulas, which look like tongues in the snail's mouth. The radulas have tiny teeth on them, used for gripping and grinding food. A radula's appearance is often used by scientists to identify and classify snails.
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  • Do Snails Make Noises?

    Q: Do Snails Make Noises?

    A: Snails do not make noises when moving from place to place. However, powerful microphones can detect the sound of snails eating. Snails have tiny structures similar to teeth on a tongue that looks like a ribbon. To eat, snails rip their food into pieces.
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  • Q: How Many Teeth Does a Snail Have?

    A: The number of teeth a snail has depends on the type of snail, but the average snail has well over 1,000 teeth. The teeth of snails are contained in rows called a radula. These rows shift and allow missing teeth to be replaced.
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  • Q: Why Do Snails Move so Slowly?

    A: Snails move slowly because, as gastropods, their only method of locomotion is to use their powerful stomach muscles as a kind of foot by flexing and releasing tension in said muscles. This process is reliable but makes the snail a very slow insect without any agility or ability to maneuver quickly, weaknesses offset by their durable shells, which they use for protection.
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  • Q: What Are Some Ways to Get Rid of Snails?

    A: Some ways to get rid of snails include surrounding frequented areas with copper wire, which gives snails a little electric shock, damp dog food, empty grapefruit halves or a rough material, such as grit or crushed eggshells. Another way is to smear the rims of vulnerable plant pots with petroleum jelly and salt.
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  • Q: What Happens When You Pour Salt on a Slug?

    A: According to Slug Off, when salt is poured onto a slug, it dies of dehydration. A slugs depends on water for its survival, and salt draws the water out of the slug. This is possible due to a process known as osmosis --when water passes from a region of high water concentration to a region of lower water concentration.
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