Slugs & Snails

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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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • 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 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: How Far Can a Snail Travel in One Minute?

    A: A snail can travel up to approximately 0.66 inches per minute. This speed was determined in a study published in 2012 by the University of Exeter in England.
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  • Q: How Long Do Giant African Snails Live?

    A: The average giant African snail lives from 3 to 5 years, though some are known to survive as long as 9 years. Predators posing the biggest threat include the coconut crab, hermit crab, domesticated and wild birds, and wild pigs.
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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: How Many Teeth to Slugs Have?

    A: Slugs have teeth that number in the thousands. The rows of backward-pointing, replaceable teeth are attached to the slug's radula in an arrangement known as denticles. The radula is a ribbon-like structure that holds the teeth.
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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: What Do Snails Drink?

    A: Snails need water to survive, and some snails do drink water; some species of snails absorb water from the air or, in the case of water snails, from the water they live in. Snails often consume liquid when eating various vegetables and fruits.
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  • Q: What Animals Eat Snails?

    A: Leeches, beetles, caterpillars, flies, mites, shrews, mice, frogs, toads, snakes, other snails and a variety of various other birds, reptiles and amphibians are all natural predators to snails. Sometimes curious cats or dogs eat snails as well. Humans also consume a significant amount of snails as a delicacy.
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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: Is a Snail a Bug?

    A: Snails are members of the class Gastropoda, phylum Mollusca, and thus are not formally considered bugs. True bugs are part of class Hemiptera, which are from the phylum Arthropoda. Informally, however, bugs are considered to include all land invertebrates; in this sense, land snails are included.
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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 Do Whelks Eat?

    A: Whelks typically eat hard-shelled prey. Their diet often consists of mussels and barnacles, but since they are scavengers, they will eat a variety of other prey.
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