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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • Q: Do snails sleep?

    A: Snails sleep, and they tend to follow a sleep cycle that lasts two to three days. A snail sleeps in approximately seven bouts in a period of 13 to 15 hours.
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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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  • Q: Are slugs poisonous to dogs?

    A: Slugs are not dangerous for dogs to eat under most circumstances. However, when slugs have been exposed to a poison bait, they become extremely dangerous. If a dog consumes poisoned slugs, then medical attention is needed immediately.
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  • Q: Is a snail a reptile?

    A: A snail classifies as a gastropoda, which is a member of the mollusk family. Mollusks are defined by having no backbone, soft bodies and hard shells to protect the body. Both water and land snails are in the mollusk family.
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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 eats snails?

    A: Snails have many natural predators, including beetles, mites, millipedes, flies and other insects, as well as small mammals, such as mice and squirrels. A number of amphibian species, including toads and turtles, and ground-foraging birds, such as blackbirds and grouse, are also predators of snails.
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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 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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  • 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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  • Where do slugs live?

    Q: Where do slugs live?

    A: Slugs live in decaying plants, mulch, weeds and yard waste. Slugs also choose moist areas that are created when plants receive watering or rain in the late afternoon.
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