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Snails are one of the earliest known types of animals in the world.
I took this photo in my garden (Gauteng , South Africa) this morning.
Canon PowerShot S51S
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There is evidence that they evolved more than 600 million years ago. They are able to adapt to a variety of living conditions and they don’t require large amounts of food. They have been able to continually evolve to survive the conditions around them which many researchers find to be very fascinating.
All snails are classified as mollusks because of the hard shell that protects their bodies. Many people confuse slugs as snails but they aren’t in the same category due to the fact that they don’t have shells. You will find that there aren’t any shortages of snails around the world.
In fact they range number two behind insects when it comes to their numbers. As a result they are found in many locations and have a very diverse type of habitat where they can be found. Snails are very small animals that are only a few inches long and often weigh only a few ounces.
A common mistake though is that the term snail is used to cover all of the different species. What you will find when you start looking at them though is that there are quite a few differences including where they live, what they eat, their behaviors, and of course the overall design of their bodies.
As a snail moves it leaves behind a trail of slime. This allows it to easily move across any type of terrain without injuring its body. They aren’t able to hear at all so they rely on their sense of touch to interact with each other. They use their sense of smell to help them find food.
Some people love snails and find them to be very fascinating. Others though don’t enjoy them and find them to be quite gross. Now that you understand live can be hard for these animals hopefully you will have a new appreciation for them. Most people simply don’t understand them though so taking the time to learn about them helps to open up your mindset about them.
There are some misconceptions out there that land snails carry harmful bacteria and diseases that people can become very ill from. That isn’t true so don’t worry if you touch some of their slime or items they have come into contact. You do want to wash your hands well with soap and water though after handling them.
However, people can become ill of the snails they eat aren’t properly cooked. If you are trying new recipes then you want to make sure you follow the cooking instructions well. That way you can avoid this becoming a problem. There are plenty of terrific recipes to try too so if you don’t like snails cooked one way give a new approach a try. Not everyone is a fan of eating them though so don’t feel obligated if you aren’t comfortable with it.
The average life span of a snail is approximately 15 years. However, it is believed that some species live up to 25 years depending on their habitat. In captivity they can live longer due to their needs always being met. They are also protected from various types of predators which tend to cut the life span of these animals very short.