Are you aware that no part of a snail is a waste; not even the shell? Well, that is one of the amazing facts about snails.
Snails contain major amino acids essential for the body’s development and also it’s by-products including slimes are used in cosmetics and medicines.
Snails are fast becoming a major delicacy as a source of protein and other nutrients. They have been in nature from time inception but are now known for their health benefits. Many African countries have a snail delicacy in their menu and restaurants, hotels are also having it on their menu at expensive rates.
Snails are not readily available all year round and slightly expensive yet, many families get them by picking them during rainy season. Snail meat is low in Cholesterol and fat making them a great healthy alternative to red meats.
Starting with their biological identity, Snails are gastropod mollusks; members of the phylum Mollusca and belong to the class Gastropoda.
Global Snail Industry
Internationally, the global snail industry is contributing billions to countries economy. The industry generates about $12 billion annually. Countries like Turkey, Indonesia, Spain, are known to cultivate and consume snails in high volume. African countries such as Cote d’ Ivoire, Algeria, Ghana and Nigeria are not left out.
The popularity of Snails is getting better with time as people are becoming more health conscious knowing that ‘you are what you eat’, snails are non-fatty, low cholesterol meats and cheaper source of protein for everyone; young and old. They can be prepared in various methods; boiled, fried or roasted depending on your choice.
Amazing Facts About Snails
Most Snails are land animals living in cold regions and known for high yield. They are also used in various industries including Pharmaceutical industry, arts and Crafts industry and Cosmetics industry. Here are some unique features of snails:
General Facts About Snails
- There are no male or female snails. Snails are hermaphrodites meaning they have both male and female reproductive organs.
- Snails can move over sharp edges even razor blades without getting hurt. This is due to their slime, a thick fluid which protects them and give them the ability to move with ease.
- Garden snails specie have teeth over fourteen thousand (14,000) teeth all located on their tongue also called the radula.
- The Achatina Marginata (AM) is the biggest snail specie and is the most common in Africa with Nigeria not being an exception.
- Snails can hibernate or stay still using a white protective covering over them during extreme weather conditions whether cold or dry. This covering can last for several months without the snails suffocating.
- Snails are very active in the night than during the day. This makes them nocturnal animals.
- Snails can crawl upside down with the aid of their slime functional effects.
- Snails can only see, feel and smell. They are deaf!
- Snails life span can reach 20 years if not harvested by man or other predators. You can try to rear one and see.
Scientifically Proven Facts
Scientists of various genres have studied snails over the years and these are some of their findings:
- Snails can be huge or gigantic in stature. The biggest land snail was recorded at 12inches long and its weight about 2pounds. These snails are referred to as giant snails and a peculiar specie is The Giant African Snail.
- Snails can go into hiding for almost 6 months just to survive. This is one reason why hey have survived various harsh weather conditions for millions of years. The slime makes them moist and not dry out.
- Snails in captivity can live for over 20years while the free range ones are at the mercy of man and other predators but can live up to 5years in favourable environment.
- Scientists have proved that snail slimes or mucus in general term are not unsafe or cause illness to man. It is only but a myth that snail mucus can make humans ill or that vegetables over which they moved are poisonous.
- Snails are one of the slowest creatures on earth. They are slow in motion but very steady. Garden snails have been known to reach a top speed of 50 yards per hour; this is about 0.5 inches per second.
- Snails mate with each other and both lays eggs. Being hermaphrodites does not mean they can reproduce alone.
- Snails have a very large family with over 50,000 classified. It is believed that several snails are yet to be classified and free range in nature.
- Snails do not like salt or survive in a salty environment. Their body system cannot process salt therefore, if you have snails around be careful of salt and salty liquids.
- The Giant African Land Snail is the hungriest snail specie and can eat more than 500 different types of plants.
- Snails are strong, brave not weak as they can lift things up to 10 times their body weight when in a vertical position.
Snails are very unique creatures with special adaptability skills and health benefits. There’s no part of a snail that is not useful therefore they are suitable to be a part of our pets. Snail Slime, Shell, Liver are all useful in various ways!
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