EnviroKids: Shelly the Snail — What she’s been doing in your garden

(EnviroNews California) — “Helix aspersa,” or more commonly known as the garden snail, are one of the slowest creatures on Earth — moving at a blistering speed of 50 yards per hour or 1.3cm per second!

However, what they lack in speed they make up for in strength. Snails can lift up to 10 times their own body weight in a vertical position, and although most snails are very small they range in size. Some snails can grow up to 12 inches long!

These creatures cover their bodies with a thin layer of mucus to prevent them from drying out during hibernation in the colder months.

Inversely, they can also hibernate during the summer time to survive if they are faced with a severe drought. Snails can live off stored up fat during this time of year, which is a process that makes them able to survive for years.

Although small, snails can live a long life, although their lifespan depends on their habitat and species. Wild snails are believed to live up to 25 years on unusual occasions.

Not only are snails unique because of their survival traits, but also because of their reproductive organs. These minute creatures are hermaphrodites, which means they have both male and female reproductive organs.

While they can’t create their own offspring, after mating with one another, both will have the ability to lay eggs. A single snail can have up to 430 babies in a year.

Garden snails, while adhering to a strict vegetarian diet have up to 14,175 teeth located on their tongue.

“Helix Aspersa” is a nocturnal animal, which means that most of its movements take place at night. One thing that is know for sure about snails is that they absolutely hate the brightness of the sunlight which is why you can find them slugging around on a gloomier day.

EnviroKids: Shelly the Snail — What she’s been doing in your garden

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