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The giant African land snail

Have you ever seen a huge snail and wondered what it was? This is the giant African land snail, one of the largest land snails in the world. In some places they are over 20cm long, and reach nearly a kilo in weight!

But I am afraid that these giants are an invasive animal in the wrong ecosystem of Hong Kong, and have pushed other snails to the brink of extinction. They also eat crops and spread plant diseases.

Like all snails, they are hermaphrodites and have both male and female reproductive organs. This can make them particularly difficult to deal with as an invasive species, because every snail can produce 1200 eggs a year. 

These massive snails eat plant matter but also occasionally carrion, like dead animal remains . They can even eat stones, sand, bones and concrete in order to get calcium for their shell which makes their shells especially tough.

These monsters live about 5-7 years.

This close up shows how both snails are inserting their male glands into each other.


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