Alien land snail species are increasing exponentially, says study

Invasive land snail species can displace native species and harm human health. A recent study by the Leibniz Institute for Biodiversity Change Analysis (LIB) compiles an overview of the exponential increase and dynamic spread ...

Two new species of slender gecko reported in Yunnan karsts

As the largest family of geckos, Gekkonidae shows high levels of endemism in karst systems. Hemiphyllodactylus (commonly known as half leaf-fingered geckos, dwarf geckos, or slender geckos), belongs to the family Gekkonidae. ...

Hairy snail discovered in 99-million-year-old amber

International researchers, including Senckenberg's Dr. Adrienne Jochum, have discovered a new species of land snail in an approximately 99-million-year-old piece of amber. The snail's shell features short, bristly hairs that ...

Researchers identify the microbes in 100-year-old snail guts

On a drizzly day in July 1920, a Colorado scientist named Junius Henderson was hiking around the Dakota Hogback, a sandstone ridge north of Boulder. There, he spotted a group of Rocky Mountain snails (Oreohelix strigosa) ...

Could we learn to love slugs and snails in our gardens?

Before you squash or poison the next slug or snail you see in your garden, consider this: The British Royal Horticultural Society no longer classifies these gastropods as pests. Why on earth would a leading gardening organization ...

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Snail

The word snail is a common name for almost all members of the molluscan class Gastropoda that have coiled shells in the mid adult stage. When the word snail is used in a general sense, it includes sea snails, land snails and freshwater snails.

Snails lacking a shell or having only a very small one are usually called slugs. Snails that have a broadly conical shell that is not coiled or appears not to be coiled are usually known as limpets.

Snails can be found in a wide range of environments from ditches, deserts, and the abyssal depths of the sea. Although most people are familiar with terrestrial snails, land snails are in the minority. Marine snails have much greater diversity and a greater biomass. The great majority of snail species are marine. Numerous kinds can be found in fresh water and even brackish water. Many snails are herbivorous, though a few land species and many marine species are omnivores or predatory carnivores.

Snails that respire using a lung belong to the group Pulmonata, while those with gills form a paraphyletic group, in other words, snails with gills are divided into a number of taxonomic groups that are not very closely related. Snails with lungs and with gills have diversified widely enough over geological time that a few species with gills can be found on land, numerous species with a lung can be found in freshwater, and a few species with a lung can be found in the sea.

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