USGS - science for a changing world

Southeast Ecological Science Center




Snails can move both in and out of the water. They can move both horizontally and vertically along the substrate and plant stems (as shown here underwater).

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They can also float in the water column or at the surface by pulling air into and out of their air sac in order to regulate their buoyancy.

Snails move, on average, approximately 45 feet per week. However, snails monitored in one study routinely moved over 90 feet and up to 300 feet (or roughly the length of a foot ball field) over 7 days.

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So how do we know how far snails travel? Miniature radio-transmitters, much like those used to track birds and other wildlife, were used to study snail movements and other behaviors in their natural environment.



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