Snails For Room 3 Minibeast fact finders Diagram of a snail Snails How they breathe •Snails need air to breathe. •They have lungs. If you want to look at them for a little while, put them into a plastic container with a layer of damp dirt, some stones and dead leaves. •Make sure your lids have holes in them so they can breathe. (Don’t forget to put the snails back in the same place that you found them after you have finished studying them). To look for its breathing hole, hold the snail upside down and you will find it near the mantle between the shell and its body. Snails What they eat Snails are plant eaters. They eat fruit and vegetables. They eat rotten ones too! They will eat grains and seeds and even dirt if they have to. They have a rough tongue that cuts up the food. To make their shells hard, you can give them white chalk to eat or wheat flour mixed with ground white beans. They don’t eat meat! Ever! They need water to drink. Put a damp paper towel or napkin into their container near their food. Snails have a great sense of smell, that's how they find their food. See if you can make them smell the food to motivate them during a race! Snails Where do they live? Snails can be found all around the world. In New Zealand, we can find them in our gardens because they like to eat the vegetables growing there. They do not live in very hot or very cold and icy places. Snails are nocturnal animals. This means they move about mainly at night but they can be found early in the morning and early in the evening too. They like damp, dark places and bright light makes them hide in their shells. If you want to play with them just sprinkle them with water. That ought to "wake them up"! Snails Do they have eyes? •They do have eyes at the end of their long tentacles or feelers but not on the bottom short ones. •Their eyes are different to human eyes because they use them to help figure out light from dark and to feel around them to check for obstacles or things that get in their way. •Do snails have ears? No. They can’t hear you! Go ahead, shout, whisper, tell them all your secrets, they don't have ears! How long can snails live for? Snails can live up to 5 years but some have been found to live up to 25 years! That is a long time for a tiny creature What animals eat snails? . Snails are eaten by lots of creatures. Small creatures such as beetles, caterpillars and frogs eat them. Birds eat snails too. Ducks and geese love them! In other countries, toads and snakes will eat snails as well. Humans eat snails also. In France, they grow snails and farm them for food to eat. They call them escargot. These snails are of a particular species and are fed a special diet that will make them taste nice to eat. They are not the same species that we find in New Zealand gardens. Did you know that there are 200,000 species of molluscs in the world including snails? Snails (Escargot) on a plate. How do they move? . •Snails are one of the slowest moving creatures on earth. •Snails crawl around on their foot which produces slime. This slime is like a powerful form of suction for them. That is why they are able to move upside down. •The slime also protects their soft body from getting cuts and bruises. A snail can even go over a razor blade without getting hurt! Snails move slowly but steadily. They don’t move in straight lines. Sometimes they may turn around in complete circles! . This snail is laying eggs . Some more interesting information about snails. Snails are hermaphrodites This means that they have both male and female organs. So they are both girls and boys all in the one body! They still need to mate to have snail babies though. It takes about 3-4 weeks for snail eggs to hatch and this happens in spring when the weather is warmer These snails are mating. Snails make hundreds of baby eggs! Created by Room 3 Snails Are Cool. Snails with a little help from your Teacher And yes, I have eaten escargots and did I like them? No!