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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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 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 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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  • Q: What is an elephant snail?

    A: 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.
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  • Q: What adaptations does a snail exhibit?

    A: Snails have developed behavioral and physiological adaptations through the years. The once exclusive marine and freshwater snails formed gills and developed lungs in order to survive on land, while terrestrial snails formed gills in order to thrive in wet biotopes. Some, like the golden snails, formed both gills and lungs.
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  • Q: What are the adaptations of limpets?

    A: Limpets are classified as mollusks: like others in their family, they have strong, sturdy shells and produce slime to help them survive in their aquatic habitats. Limpets’ shells are quite attractive and have a unique cup-like shape that allows them to blend in with rocks along the coastal regions where they live. They also excrete special slime that helps them move over dry rock surfaces and helps with navigation too.
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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: What are Malaysian trumpet snails?

    A: A Malaysian trumpet snail, also called a red-rimmed melania, is a species of burrowing freshwater snail. These snails have a long conical shell that is brown and has red spots. Their scientific name is Melanoides tuberculata. They are native to northern Africa and southern Asia.
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  • Q: Where do snail shells come from?

    A: Snail shells are formed when a snail continually feeds on calcium. A snail is born with a soft version of its shell that needs calcium to grow into the hardened form.
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  • Q: Do slugs have eyes?

    A: Slugs, like other gastropods, do have a pair of eyes. These eyes are situated on the outer edge of a slug's tentacles, which are otherwise known as feelers.
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  • Q: What is a snail's habitat?

    A: Snails live in a range of moist environments that generally include areas with robust vegetation like temperate and tropical forests, as well as in aquatic habitats such as marshes, ponds and wetlands. There are 40,000 different species of snails that inhabit these areas around the world.
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  • Q: What do pond snails eat?

    A: Pond snails are herbivores who eat plants and plant-like materials found in ponds. Algae, floating plants and rooted plants are all preferred foods for pond snails.
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  • Q: Can you keep garden snails as pets?

    A: Garden snails are suitable as pets, especially for kids, as they need little maintenance. Snails mainly eat fruits and vegetables, but they also need foods high in calcium, such as crushed egg shells or cuttlefish bone, for growing and maintaining their shells.
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  • Q: Can you eat slugs?

    A: Most fresh-water slugs are edible if they are thoroughly cooked to kill any parasites and bacteria they may carry, some of which are extremely harmful to humans. Slugs also feed on poisonous mushrooms and should be fed lettuce, bran or meal for a week to detoxify before being consumed.
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