Interesting Facts About African Giant Land Snails

  1. The Giant African Land Snail (Achatina achatina) is known to eat more than 500 different types of plants.
  2. An average garden snail has over 14,000 teeth. They are all located on their tongue (radula).
  3. Most land snails have two set of tentacles, the upper one carry the eyes, while the lower one has the olfactory organs.

Snails are almost completely blind and they don’t have any mechanism of hearing sounds either.

With the kind of sensory deprivation their sense of smell is extraordinary.

They can apparently locate food from as far away as a few metres, which for an animal of their minuscule dimensions is quite a distance.

  1. Snails are among the slowest creatures on the entire Earth. Garden snails has a top speed of 50 yards per hour, this is about 1.3 cm. per second.

While they don’t move fast, they do move at a very steady pace leaving a trail of mucus which acts as a powerful lubricant to reduce friction against the surface to enable them move upside down, around corners, and other situations.

  1. The largest land snail recorded was 12 inches long and weighed near 2 pounds. It belonged to the Giant African Land Snail species.

Other species are extremely small being only a few centimeters long when they are adults and weighing just a couple of pounces.

  1. Snails are small but not weak, they are very strong and can lift up to 10 times their own body weight in a vertical position.
  1. Snails are nocturnal in nature, which means most of their movements take place at night. They don’t like the brightness of sunlight, this can cause the snail to stop eating and to spend most of its time inside of the shell, which is why you will find them out more on cloudy days.
  1. Snails are Hermaphrodites (they have both male and female reproductive organs). However, they cannot create offspring on their own. They must mate with another and then both of them will have the ability to lay eggs.
  1. Some species of snails actually hibernate during the colder months of the year. They cover their bodies with a thin layer of mucus, which prevents them from drying out.

Sometimes snails are also able to hibernate during dry season to survive if they are faced with a severe drought. They live out of the stored up fat during that period.

This process is one of the many reasons why they have been able to survive for million years.

  1. The life span of snails depends on their habitat and the species. Some of them only live for about 5 years. However, others in the wild are believed to be up to 25 years old in unusual occasions.

Snails will die if you put salt on them, because their body can´t process these items.

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