Simple Gifts

I believe I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world; the Snoqualmie Valley. I get to see amazing things everyday. It's time to celebrate that. (You can view pictures in larger format by clicking on them)

Friday, April 28, 2006

Snail Orgy!


Well, I'm not sure it was actually an orgy. We saw them on Richmond beach. Alan asked me what they were doing, so of course I am now all curious. I am having a hard time finding much information on the Checkered Periwinkle.

I did find this fact which made me giggle:

Fun Facts: When holding a periwinkle in ones hand, if one hums to the snail steadily for a minute or two, the snail will come out of its shell and begin crawling around.

I really want to try this. Although I'm highly skeptical it's the humming that works. But just imagine a beach full of people holding little snails and humming. What fun!

I found this fact more believable:

Cool Fact: Land snails may have evolved from this species!
They don't need to eat often and can stay out of water for quite some time. They may have been clustered just because it was suitable habitat. After some more research I started to feel sorry for the poor male snails. It is the right time of year for it to be a snail orgy but it sounds like a complicated process:

Once a year they expend extra energy in reproduction. These snails are separate sexed - the male needing to find a female for mating. In this species, the males appear unable to distinguish the opposite sex until actually trying to mate. In spring and summer males become very active - trying all neighbors for a possible mate and even fighting. Sometimes two males will be fighting over a third snail only to discover that the third snail is also a male. Eventually they are successful and, after mating, the female lays her fertilized eggs in a mucus bundle in high pools. These hatch as planktonic larvae and are taken away by the extreme high high tide waves.

1 Comments:

Blogger Kathryn P. said...

Snails fighting? This is a hard picture to imagine - but I'm sure they're quite fierce once they're motivated.

11:15 PM  

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