These are pictures of me enjoying my most-favorite toy in the world, Mr. Snail from Auntie Deb. I take him everywhere with me, we are the best of friends. Thank you, Auntie Deb.
(pee ess: our floor is purrfect, but Mommy & Daddy think it's a mess. we all got into the trash basket full of shredded paper, then we dragged in bags of Temptations and shredded them open. We had a biggie party while they were gone. Sigh, they are getting ready to clean it up.)
Thirteen Random Facts about Snails
- Snails can live 5-10 years; some have lived 15 years.
- Snails have two sets of tentacles on their heads. The longer pair has eyes on the end and, the shorter pair are used for feeling and smelling. Hmm, Mr. Snail only has one set of tentacles.
- Snails cannot hear. They rely on their sense of touch and smell because they also have poor eyesight.
- What sex is Mr. Snail? Actually, snails are both male and female. However, making baby snails still requires two snails and a "courtship".
- Snails have a rough tongue, something like a file with rows of tiny teeth, which it uses to scrap off leaves and flowers to eat. This tongue is called a radula.
- A baby snail takes two years to become an adult.
- Natural enemies of the snail are things we cats like to chase and get: snakes, toads, turtles, beetles and birds. Yum.
- May 24th is National Escargot Day! Escargot is snail flesh cooked and eaten as a delicacy. Let's not share this with Mr. Snail. Hmmm, he does look kinda tasty, though!
- As the snail grows, the shell grows in a spiral shape. New shell is added at the opening of the shell. The shell the baby snail was born with ends up in the middle of the spiral.
- Snails are nocturnal, which means they are more active at night. Just like us cats!
- Snails breath through lungs, like us cats, although some pond snails have gills so they can breath in the water.
- Snails move by means of a "flat foot" under their body. A band of muscles in the foot contract and expand to create a kind of rippling movement that pushes the snail forward. This "flat foot" has a special gland that produces a slimy mucus to make a slippery track. Because of the slime, they can move across the edge of a razor blade and not get hurt.
- This slime also creates a suction, so snails can crawl upside down. Okay, now I'm jealous. They can walk on the ceiling!
Here is a detailed anatomy chart I did on Mr. Snail. Compare it with the chart for a real snail; there are some disturbing differences. For instance, Mr. Snails eyes are not on tentacles. His eyes are on his face, which is not right. Also, what is this label? Guess Mr. Snail is just "special".