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The Snail Lover's Society

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  • pbffpbff Posts: 433

    I came across an interesting article about snails using weapons today - maybe Linda Taylor2 was right to be worried about them taking over the world!!image

    Researchers from Japan's Hokkaido University and Tohuku University, along with colleagues from the Russian Acadamy of Sciences, found that some snail species counterattack predators by swinging their shells - it had previously been thought that snails only protected themselves by withdrawing into their shells.

    The researchers were studying snails from the genus Karaftohelix in both Japan and Russia and observed each species' defensive behaviour against their predator, the carabid beetle.

    They found that two species, Karaftohelix (Ezohelix) gainesi in Hokkaido, Japan and K. selskii in the Far East region of Russia - swing their shell like a club to hit and knock over the carabid beetles; whilst other closely related species simply withdraw into their shells and wait until the attacker gives up.

    The researchers reported that the difference in their defensive behaviours was reflected in the shell shapes.

    By analyzing DNA from each species, they found that the two active-or-passive defence methods evolved independently in the Japanese and Russian species. 

    The full report can be found here: https://www.nature.com/articles/srep35600

    We will have to watch out for our Garden Snails forming this sort of technology against us!!imageimageimage

    Karaftohelix (Ezohelix) gainesi

    image

    Last edited: 13 December 2017 13:31:23

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  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,532

    A handsome beast.  I especially like the elegant shading on the antennae.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,662

    I used to teach English conversation to Belgian scientists who often had strange views about growing native weeds to attract pollinators and were astonished too see So many on my "imports" including clematis, hardy geraniums and a sedums spectabile with 4 different wild honey bees on one flower head.

    One of the scientists carefully nurtured all the "petits gris" - pretty stripey snails - he found in his garden.  They are a local delicacy and also grew his own garlic for the butter............

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • pbffpbff Posts: 433

    image

    Trochulus striolatusthe Strawberry Snail, is on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species at the category of 'Least Concern'.

    The species is widespread from Hungary to northern France and the British Isles (except Shetland).

    The population is thought be currently stable.

    The Strawberry Snail has a rather flattened (low spire) shell, measuring about 6.5 - 9 mm high and 11-15 cm wide, with six convex whorls. The growth ridges on the shell are very prominent.The shell varies between a brown or reddish-brown. Light brown spots/flecks may be visible. Shells of juveniles are hairy, but the adults are hairless.

    The Strawberry Snail is a garden pest image and typical of habitats disturbed by humans. It is locally abundant in woodland, scrub, waste ground, around old buildings and gardens and is found within sites typically concentrated in nettle beds or along old walls.

    Local sub-populations may be threatened by the complete or severe destruction of the vegetation (deforestation followed by erosion, fire, etc.), but considering the large extent of the occurrence and the large number of sub-populations, local events would be unlikely to significantly affect the whole population.

    The species is native in Britain, but has become much more common through human activity, continuing to expand its range in Scotland where it was rare in the 1930s.

    It is listed as 'Rare' in Bavaria, and 'Low Concern' in Switzerland and Ireland.

    The species is protected in Hungary.

    Lots of potential Snail Lover's Society members in Hungary then, perhaps? image

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  • pbffpbff Posts: 433
    pbff says:
    image

     

    The Strawberry Snail has a rather flattened (low spire) shell, measuring about 6.5 - 9 mm high and 11-15 cm wide, with six convex whorls. The growth ridges on the shell are very prominent.The shell varies between a brown or reddish-brown. Light brown spots/flecks may be visible. Shells of juveniles are hairy, but the adults are hairless.

    See original post

     

    CORRECTION, THIS SHOULD READ: 'The Strawberry Snail has a rather flattened (low spire) shell, measuring about 6.5 - 9 mm high and 11 - 15 mm wide, with six convex whorls.' image

    Tip of the week: always proof-read posts at least twice

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  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,532

    We are all profoundly relieved.

  • Did anyone else see  Al Khalili on quantum biology on BBC4 last night?  He featured the quantum snail that had evolved with a banded shell as camouflage that gave it an advantage in hiding from predators and how quantum theory can inform the evolutionary process.

    The bits on quantum theory on smell and photosynthesis were even more amazing . Can't really get my head round QT, though. I can hear what they're saying but it doesn't make sense, but that's kind of the point of it.

    Got totally lost later,. in Horizon on multiple universes, couldn't see how it was any different from being a figment of someone's imagination. Even apparently, if I understood it right, the snail which didn't eat my seedlings, so didn't get tossed in the general direction of the little pond, in its own alternative universe, or the seedlings (not quite sure about these, though they are living things) that went on to grow into wonderful plants, just as I had imagined they would, in theirs...

  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,532

    Not sure if this has anything to do with quantum physics, but I've seen a T shirt that says:

    Schrödinger's cat is ADLEIAVDE

  • One of my cats tried to give me the chance to test that situation, by getting inside the base of my bed as I was moving it one day!

    Last edited: 15 December 2017 12:56:03

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