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SNAILS part 1 of 2

Land snails are known by the scientific name Heterobranchia, and are a group of land-dwelling gastropods that have the ability to breathe air….oh, and by the way this also includes slugs (which are very similar to snails except they lack a shell). Snails are invertebrates, which means they lack a backbone, but they do have a shell, which serves to protect its internal organs, prevent water loss, provide shelter from cold, and protect the snail from predators. A snail's shell is secreted by glands in its mantle rim.

Snails feed on plant material, fruits, and algae, which means they are herbivorous. Did you know that they have a rough tongue called a(word for today) radula th

at they use to scrape bits of food into their mouths. They also have rows of tiny teeth made of chiton. Snails use their radula to grind stones, which they ingest as calcium, and this is used by the mantle to build its shell.

Snails move by creating an undulating wave-like motion along the length of their foot, with a top speed of around 3 inches per minute. To help them move, snails secrete a stream of slime (mucus) from a gland located at the front of their foot. This slime enables them to glide smoothly over many different types of surface and helps to form a suction that helps them cling to vegetation and even hang upside down.

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