Have you ever thought of taking a snail as a pet? I always wanted a snail as my pet. I’ll name it Flash from the DC Comics to laugh about my sense of humour whenever I call him. Snails are cute. They are not endangered species. They are easy to take care of. And they are impossibly funny. Their slow moving pace, retreating inside the shell when threatened, their eyes above the head, and when they rotate those eyes… Already laughing!
When you decide to have a snail, definitely never ever vote for Killer Cone Snails unless you want to attempt suicide and put the blame on that apparently innocent creature. They are world’s deadliest snails. I could tell you its scientific name, class, classification and so on, but what good will it do to you? You want a pet not a biological sample to research on, dont you? Something may be useful to you. Snails are never going to be extinct as they have too many types and habitats. You can pet as many as you want.
I am going to educate you about some of them. According to the habitat there are three kinds of snails-
Land snails are generally big, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have small relatives too. The most attractive thing about a snail is its shell. I guess people pet snails to see those beautiful shells move around when they get a breath after laughing at their pace and eyes, don’t they? Jokes apart! The shell covers mostly of its body. They have two pairs of retractable tentacles and the eyes on the top of them. No more jokes! African Giant Snails are the biggest kind of land snails. It reaches almost 20cms.
Land snails are usually active at night when humidity is high but they appear in a day too when there is rain. Some snails live in some less humid places where when it gets dry for the snails, the snails retreat in their shells and seal the opening to conserve moisture. There they sleep in a reduced metabolic activity, called estivation. It’s a lot like hibernation except that the sleep in this state is not that deep. The snails stay that way until it rains and when it rains these super slow molluscs get super fast in activities (not so fast in moving). They have to eat, mate and lay eggs before it dries up again. Snails are not social. They may be seen hiding in groups but that’s for the moisture. They only communicate to mate or eat (some of them are cannibals). Some of the land snail Families are, Asian tramp snail, Chocolate Band snail, Milk snail, Yellow Globelet etc.
There are two kinds of freshwater snails, one that breaths with gills and the other that breaths with lungs. Both are good to have in an aquarium along with other fishes. Not all snails can tolerate all fishes so be careful when taking home one. There are some interesting breeds of freshwater snails like apple snails, some call them blue mystery snails, these come in different colours and these snails are not recommended for small tanks for their size and appetite. There is Horned Nerite Snail, the Horned Nerites intend to escape from the tank. It is believed that they don’t escape when they are happy; they do when they are not comfortable. The Ramshorns are beautiful snails. They have a bad name for eating up all the plants, you can prevent it by feeding it less. There are others like pond snail, Malaysian Trumpet snail, Sulawesi, Tracked Nerite, Zebra nerite etc.
Remember SpongeBob’s pet Gary? He was a sea snail but he used to meow! Seriously! You can look up in Google. He solved a lot of problems for SpongeBob, though I don’t know any sea snail that solves my problems. Sea snails commonly live in saltwater. There are at least 12 kinds of sea snail family; they are of different colour, shape and size. They normally leave on the ocean floor and eat algae. Some of them eat fishes too. There are venomous cone snails. There are 500 of their kind but Cigarette Cone snails can kill human with their venom. The person will only get enough time to smoke a cigarette after strung by a Cigarette Cone snail. These snails use that poison normally to kill fishes so that the fish don’t swim away from these slow creatures but they may kill anything that comes near.
There are clusterwinks, a kind of sea snail that flashes light inside its shell to scare away the predators and it not only lights up but the light diffuse throughout the shell. Normally their shells are bright yellow but when they light up, they turn into bluish green.
These are some information about snails. In my next article I am going to educate you about their habitats, feeding habits and so on. So keep reading.