Animal of the week Garden Snail

The Trail of the Garden Snail

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Snails have always been one of those animals that have fascinated children for years. As a child my grandma would save any plastic jars or deli cups she had so that I could come over to her house and hunt for snails. The little inverts make beautiful shells that have 4-5 whorls, and they live widespread throughout most of the world. They originated from the Mediterranean and Western Europe, but have traveled with humans long distances allowing them to establish populations all over the place. These little snails are also an incredibly important food source for numerous animals. This article is going to answer some of the frequently asked questions about Garden Snails below.

What do Garden Snails eat?

Well defenders, if you think really hard I’m assuming you can guess what a garden snail eats. Hint: The clue is in the animal’s name! That’s right everyone. They eat things found in your garden! Garden snails mostly specialize in eating the tasty plants that we have in our yard. They especially love the plants found in cool, shady areas. Garden snails love plants so much that they can be considered pests to people who take a lot of pride in their garden. However, garden snails will also eat things like mold or fungus, decaying materials, and they have even been known to munch on animal material. Nothing crazy but they have been known to eat things like other dead snails or squashed insects.

How long do they live?

Garden Snails don’t have super long lives, but they do live longer than most inverts. Smaller species of snails like the garden snail will live to about 2-3 years old, but large species of land snails can live to nearly 10 years old.  After doing lots of research it turns out the lifespan of snails can highly vary from species to species.

Do they eat each other?

Garden Snails are not carnivores by any means, but they have been seen eating other snails before. These slow and peaceful land creatures do not eat their counterparts while they are alive. However, they have been seen eating the carcasses of other dead snails. We have all accidentally stepped on a snail before, they seem to always be in the walkways while its raining and choose perfect spots to be under our feet. Once they are squashed and another snail is passing by, this is when a garden snail may decide to feast on the remains of his squashed friend.

Is the slime from a Garden Snail dangerous?

Snails are really special because they produce a type of mucus that helps them with moving. This mucus also allows them to slide around the garden looking for yummy foods. It stops them from drying out, allows them to adhere to surfaces and allows them to seal up the end of their shell during dry periods. The mucus is really important to a snail. If you have ever picked one up then you have noticed the mucus on your hand.

Don’t worry defenders – this mucus is totally harmless and has no toxins or anything harmful. It can however, be a little sticky and hard to wash off.

 

Thanks for reading defenders! Don’t forget to head over to our kids zone to learn all about other animals. If you’re looking for animal coloring pages for kids to use then make sure to check out our garden snail coloring page! See you all there.

 

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