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Snail

Snails can be a real problem in the garden eating plants and crops but believe it or not they can be fun too, why not have your own Snail Races?

What you will need

  • Some willing Snails
  • Large piece of cardboard
  • Marker Pen
  • Round containers e.g. plant pots
  • Small labels

What you need to do

  1. In the centre of your piece of cardboard, mark out a series of different sized circles radiating outwards, the smallest centre circle is the starting point where your snails will begin their race, the largest outer circle will be the finishing line.
  2. Find and collect your snails, snails are more active at night and during damp weather, during the day they like to rest somewhere dark and damp, try looking underneath or behind your plant pots.
  3. Carefully stick a label on each snails shell with their number so that you can identify them.
  4. Place all your snails in the centre circle and watch them go!
  5. The snail that crosses the outer circle first is the winner, it make take longer than you think snails do not always move in straight lines.
  6. After your races place your snails back where you found them or in another suitable place away from your plants.

Interesting Snail Facts:

  • In the World there are around 50,000 different types of land snails.
  • During very dry weather and in winter snails retreat into their shells, they seal the entrance to form a hard cap.
  • Snails can see but can’t hear, most land snails have two sets of tentacles, the upper ones carry the eyes, while the lower one has the olfactory organs.
  • Garden snails have a top speed of 45 metres per hour, this is about 1.3 cm per second, they are one of the slowest creatures on Earth.
  • The largest land snail recorded was 12 inches long and weighed nearly 2 pounds, it was a Giant African Land Snail.
  • Depending on the species snails can live 5 – 25 years.

Have fun

Gill

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If you would like to take part in a scientific experiment in your own back garden why not take part in the great snail swap. 

With a neighbour all you have to do is each collect snails from your own garden, mark their shells with a little paint and then release them in each others garden.  Then wait and monitor both gardens to see if the snails return home.

For more details and everything you need to know about how to take part in the great snail swap click here.

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