A snail moves with a series of muscular contractions like waves that pass along the bottom of the foot.
To help it to move, the snail produces a trail of slime from a gland under its mouth. You can often see these slime trails on paths, plant pots and even on windows.
Snails are very slow moving creatures and most people find them to be boring. However, there are some very interesting facts about them that can help you to see them in a new light. They aren’t brainless creatures as many people think.
Many 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 in the summer to survive if they are faced with a severe drought. They live off of the stored up fat during this time of year. This process is one of the many reasons why they have been able to survive for more than 60 million years.
The life span for 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 at least 25 years old. Many researchers believe the life span of snails is decreasing due to humans destroying their habitat and due to pollution.
The largest land snail recorded weighed only 2 pounds and was 15 inches long. It was discovered in 1976. Others are extremely small being only a few centimeters long when they are adults and weighing just a couple of ounces.
As snails move they leave behind slime. This slime is like a powerful form of suction for them. This is why they are even able to move upside down, around corners, and other comical situations. It is a myth that this type of slime is going to make humans ill. Many people worry that snails being in their garden will ruin the foods grown there and make them unfit for consumption but that is all false.