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What does this snail do? A Gizmodo survey

On Thursday, I clicked on a link that promised to show me a snail "playing" with a carrot. The video was nice, but I wanted to know more. Having talked to several snail specialists, I have focused on the truth that "snails cannot get enough baby carrot", dear readers, and it is either fun in another way or a little sad. The video, which is clearly sped up to be more entertaining, shows a snail on the back that spins a carrot around with the foot. It is both fascinating and fine metal, and I wondered if the snail was calling his god through the forces of carrot dance. Obviously, this snail was neither playing nor invoking a divine commodity. According to two snail experts, this snail just tried to regain its foot on solid ground. "This snail has fallen on its back (or, more likely, has been placed upside down) and is now trying to justify itself by crawling along a carrot that someone has put on his foot, "says Menno Schilthuizen, an evolutionary biologist at the Leiden University of the Netherlands, in an email. "Of course it is not aware that carrot is not a solid, stationary object &#821 1; so its efforts are in vain)." He also added that he didn't think the snails were playing. "I think animals usually play" to hone social skills (if they play with each other) or dexterity (if they play with an object), "he said." In a snail's life, I do…

On Thursday, I clicked on a link that promised to show me a snail “playing” with a carrot. The video was nice, but I wanted to know more. Having talked to several snail specialists, I have focused on the truth that “snails cannot get enough baby carrot”, dear readers, and it is either fun in another way or a little sad.

The video, which is clearly sped up to be more entertaining, shows a snail on the back that spins a carrot around with the foot. It is both fascinating and fine metal, and I wondered if the snail was calling his god through the forces of carrot dance. Obviously, this snail was neither playing nor invoking a divine commodity. According to two snail experts, this snail just tried to regain its foot on solid ground.

“This snail has fallen on its back (or, more likely, has been placed upside down) and is now trying to justify itself by crawling along a carrot that someone has put on his foot, “says Menno Schilthuizen, an evolutionary biologist at the Leiden University of the Netherlands, in an email. “Of course it is not aware that carrot is not a solid, stationary object &#821

1; so its efforts are in vain).” He also added that he didn’t think the snails were playing.

“I think animals usually play” to hone social skills (if they play with each other) or dexterity (if they play with an object), “he said.” In a snail’s life, I do not think socially behavior or object manipulation is important, so I do not expect the game to have evolved in their behavioral repertoire. But I’m not a behavioral biologist, so I can be wrong. “

Mollusk expert Timothy A. Pearce, debt collection manager at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, identified the snail in the video belonging to the Neritidae family, although he could not identify the genus or species from the top of the head. These are freshwater snails commonly found in aquariums Pearce also said he would not characterize what the snail does in the video as a game. “My guess is that the videographer turned the snail upside down and put the carrot on the foot, so the snail tries to crawl, but the carrot continues to move (like a treadmill), “he said. He added that usually when a snail lands on the back, the foot is flexible and stretchy enough to reach the ground, stick to it and right itself. (A quick search of the aquarium forum, it should be noted , several reports of snail owners of Neritidae revealed stuck on their backs.) In this case, Pearce believes that the snail was trying to use carrot as something to make it go, but At that time, the carrot touched it.

As it is often true in the world of online virality, it appeared that there was a case where what arose sweetly and joyfully was obsessed with a painful one. However, two other experts offered a second theory of the snail’s behavior.

“The sting is obviously not used to carrot”, Adiël Klompmaker, researcher at the University of California Museum of Paleontology at the University of California, Berkeley, told me in an email. Klompmaker did not think that the snail necessarily used the carrot to the right, but instead “just feel this possible source of food with its foot, which several snails with a big foot do with their prey”.

Mollusc researcher Jann E. Vendetti, assistant curator at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles County, suggested a similar explanation.

“I speculate that this snail controls the surface of this carrot for algae (its preferred food) and depending on how long that carrot has been in the aquarium, it may have some algae on it, so it scrapes it away from the carrot” , Vendetti told in an email. “If not, try to find some algae that are on it (what it really wants to eat.) (Keep in mind that it licks the butter off corn on the cob before eating the corn or looking for the butter to lick out.) [It] Eat carrot as its second favorite food. “

Whatever of these scenarios is more accurate, it seems quite clear that this snail does not play around – these little buddies may not even have the evolutionary motivation or ability to understand the concept of” play “. And if this snail fights for himself, it’s probably not something you would happen in nature. Schilthuizen said that unlike the aquarium at the bottom of the bottom, “the body of the body of water is usually more irregular”.

Fortunately, both Schilthuizen and Pearce said they didn’t think the snail was worried. In the unlikely event that you stumble upon a marine snail stuck to your back and spin a carrot around, Pearce said, “If you were a compassion, you could turn it over on the foot so that it could continue with its day. But If you find it fun to see the snail crawling under a treadmill carrot, I think the snail would be good at entertaining you for a while. “

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