Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Invasive snails close Capitol - and Happy Thanksgiving.

Now this is a headline that caught my eye! Probably because I only read the first four words and think - Sci fi screenplay with giant snails chasing screaming people out of the capitol building: Don't loose your stuffing...Turns out its just your average foreign species upsetting the balance of nature story...and it affects boaters. Just an eight of an inch!?! Darn those pesky mudsnails!

By the way, did you know Ancient Romans used snail slime as an early form of roll on deodorant? But first the news from Capitol Lake.

Invasive snails close Capitol Lake boating.

"Scientists have confirmed that Capitol Lake in Olympia is infested with aquatic invasive New Zealand mudsnails.

The state Department of General Administration, which manages the 260-acre lake, has closed all three boat-launch areas.

Measuring an eighth of an inch, New Zealand mudsnails also have been detected in freshwater canals on the Long Beach Peninsula and in the lower portion of the Columbia River. They can live in either fresh or brackish water and can reproduce asexually, said Allen Pleus, state Department of Fish and Wildlife aquatic invasive species coordinator."

Snail Fact to impress your friends and family around the supper table tonight.

1. The largest land snail ever found was 15 inches long and weighed 2 pounds!

2. Snails' bodies produce a thick slime. Because of this slime, they can crawl across the edge of a razor and not get hurt.

3. Some snails have been known to live up to 15 years.

4. Snails are hermaphrodites which means that they have both male and female reproductive organs.

5. Snails have six vagina's, two of which are located in their mouth.

6. Snails usually travel in irregular paths, often traveling in a circle.

7. Snails reply mainly on their sense of touch and smell when finding food because they have very poor eyesight.

8. Snails cannot hear.

9. Snails can retract one or both of their tentacles at a time.

10. Snails are the armored cousins of the slug.

11. Because of the suction created by their slime, a snail can crawl upside down.

12. Snails are nocturnal animals which means they are more active at night.

13. Garden Snails mainly eat garden plants and vegetables, but they will also eat decaying plants and soil.

14. The fastest snails are the speckled garden snails which can move up to 55 yards per hour compared 23 inches per hour of most other land snails.

15. Ancient Romans use snail slime as an early form of roll on deodorant.

16. Garden snails hibernate during the winter and live on their stored fat.

17. Garden snails breathe with lungs.

18. Garden snails evolved from sea snails that had anal sex with giant land slugs about 600 million years ago.

19. The garden snail is cooked and eaten as a delicacy called escargot

20. May 24th is National Escargot Day

No comments: