All about snails: a few words about shells, do snails have teeth, why do we need mucus and much more

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All about snails: a few words about shells, do snails have teeth, why do we need mucus and much more
All about snails: a few words about shells, do snails have teeth, why do we need mucus and much more

Few people know, but a snail is not only an oblong fleshy body. They have a full head and even legs. In addition, the body of the snail includes such parts as the visceral sac and the mantle (fold). The mollusk moves on its sole, located at the bottom of the leg. The movement is caused by the contraction of the muscles, which create a kind of wave. In order for the snail to glide as comfortably as possible, a large amount of mucus is secreted from its epithelium.

What is a clam shell?

The shell is an integral part of any snail. Thanks to the external skeleton, the latter can protect itself from attacks by natural enemies and from the influence of other natural factors from the outside. The sink also helps retain moisture.

The outer skeleton resembles a cone. By the way, it is precisely because of this shape that the organs of the cochlea are arranged asymmetrically. The top layer of the skeleton is usually smooth or has little growths.

How many teeth does an Achatina snail have?
How many teeth does an Achatina snail have?

Snails without a shell

Of course, not all mollusks can boast of a multifunctional external skeleton. Often in nature you can find snails with a reduced shell, which is a calcareous plate located inside the mantle. These mollusks are called slugs. Their most popular habitat is any garden or vegetable garden.

More about slime

As we said earlier, the mucus of a snail is very important for its movement. It contains a complex protein (mucin) and plain water.

Snail mucus has unique properties that are very popular in modern cosmetology. We are talking about anti-aging, sunscreen and moisturizing effects.

Do snails have teeth?

Surely, some of us at least once were interested in this question. It is known that mollusks are both herbivores and predators. In this case, snails must have teeth, otherwise how else can they chew food?

That's right, they have them. See photos of snail teeth below.

Photo: snail teeth
Photo: snail teeth

They are located right on the tongue, which the mollusk uses to cut and grind pieces of food. Scientists can also easily view snail teeth under a microscope.

It is worth noting that the teeth of mollusks are not quite what we imagine in the traditional sense of the word. All representatives of gastropods have a special organ in the mouth - the radula. So he is the analogue of the tongue and teeth, which we talked about earlier. It is noteworthy that poisonous snails have a cavityThe radula also plays the role of storing poison, which is secreted from a special gland.

What about quantity? The bill goes to thousands, and usually it all depends on the size of the mollusk itself. So, for example, to the question of how many teeth an Achatina snail has, the answer will be considered correct - 25,000. This is despite the fact that Achatina are real giants among their relatives. Smaller molluscs usually have a minimum number of around 10,000 teeth.

Snail in the wild - where does it live?

Mollusks are suitable for living in almost any climate and all continents. The only exceptions are Antarctica and hot deserts. Some mollusks can be found in the Pacific Ocean, in the Mediterranean and even in the Arctic Ocean.

Snail teeth under a microscope
Snail teeth under a microscope

The most comfortable places for these creatures are: Europe, Africa, America and Australia. Very often they can also be found in the territories of Asia and Russia.

In order for the bodies of mollusks not to dry out, they need to consume a lot of moisture. That is why they live very comfortably in places with high humidity.

What is included in the diet

The nutrition of a snail depends on where it lives. The diet can be very diverse: fresh plants, other small snails, worms, representatives of insects and crustaceans, fish and even carrion.

Land snails are always happy to eat leaves, berries, vegetables, grass and tree bark. For young individuals, eating fresh food is a priority, but the old ones will not refuserotten plants.

Tips for those who want to start breeding snails at home

In the previous chapter, we talked about what you can feed any snail. In order for her to grind all this, there must be enough calcium in her teeth. In case of deficiency, the mollusk will begin to sharpen its own shell.

snails have teeth and other issues
snails have teeth and other issues

All this will end with the complete destruction of the defense and, as a result, the death of the snail. You can prevent calcium deficiency with the help of special tablets or crushed eggshells, which will be used as food.

If snails are kept in an aquarium, they can be fed fish food, special plants, algae tablets and finely chopped vegetables. It is strictly forbidden to give human food to molluscs. It is also worth paying attention to the fact that there have never been any newspapers nearby. If the snail eats paper, then after such a feast it can no longer be saved.

In order for the aquarium not to lose all the vegetation, you will have to control the number of your pets. A small amount will do a great job of destroying all the rot that has accumulated over time.

About lifespan

Despite the fact that snails have a very good resistance to stress, they live only a maximum of 25 years. Being in nature, shellfish are at risk of being killed, which means that their life expectancy in such conditions is noticeably reduced.

Do snails have teeth?
Do snails have teeth?

So, for example, a grape snail can live up to twenty years in safety. Whatwhen it comes to living in the wild, its life expectancy is usually only eight years.

By breeding snails in captivity, you can expect them to live a really long life. Naturally, you should not neglect the simple rules of care and feeding.