Nature News: Snail Baby!


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I interrupt your regularly scheduled Saturday to bring you this fascinating nature update.  You may recall me mentioning, several weeks ago, that we have a unique classroom pet:  a snail that I discovered when I repotted some houseplants this summer.

Well, I was looking for him today when I came across the tiniest little baby snail I have ever seen (the adult snail is on the right):

baby snail

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I know absolutely nothing about snails.  I never tried to identify the one that was in our plant; we’d just check on it every once in awhile, always fascinated to see it crawling about, or toss a piece of cat food in there and watch it eat.  However, when we saw what could only be a baby snail that we’re 99.9% sure had never been in there before, I went online.

Turns out our snail is a Xolotrema denotatum, commonly called a velvet wedge snail.  These land snails have two sets of reproductive organs — both male and female and, while reproduction typically occurs between two snails of the same species, it is possible for the snail to reproduce itself!

Our snail had a baby, y’all!  Isn’t that fascinating??  Or, am I just a weird homeschool mom.  (That’s really a rhetorical question…you don’t have to answer it.)  I may get my flashlight out later and see if I can find any snail eggs in the soil around my peace lily.  One baby snail is interesting — a whole litter might be more than I want in my potted houseplant.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

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15 Comments

  1. When I was looking to see what kind of snails we had found, I found out that Japanese trap-door snails are live bearing, not egg laying. Who knew!! That baby is so tiny though, I'm shocked y'all found it. Very cool!!

  2. I love it! And your enthusiasm is exactly the kind of thing I see among homeschool parents. Call us "weird homeschool parents" if you like *(I do!), but I think that enthusiasm for learning is contagious and why our children do so well. I, for one, am as fascinated by the cicadas that crawl out of ground in our backyard as any of the boys. 🙂

  3. @ Christi — I thought of the snails you talked about when I was looking ours up today. I, too, am totally shocked that I saw it because my eyes, well, they're not what they used to be.

  4. Oh wow, that is so cool! My 3 year old loves creepy crawlies of all kinds especially "snakies" which is what he calls snails! He would have loved that!

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