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Land snails, sea snails and freshwater snails come in a variety of sizes and live in a diverse range of habitats. The mucus which is associated typically with snails is secreted by them to keep their bodies from drying up. This mucus also helps land snails facilitate their movement to keep them from slipping and to reduce the friction when they move on the ground.

Snails are very often recognised by the shell they carry around. This shell is made of calcium carbonate and it keeps growing as long as the snail grows.

If you find a snail-like animal without a shell it might be a slug. The bodies of slugs are soft and slimy and prone to drying up and therefore they are most often found in moist areas. They also generate a lot of mucus to keep their bodies moist.

Some snails and slugs are considered to be pests in agriculture but see a fun video here about snails in gardens!


Send us your notes and drawings of snails that you have entered in your field diary to for a chance to win a book on snails! Did you find or observe anything interesting about snails? Find out what snails are called in your mother tongue. If you would like a snail or shell identified you can ask our snail expert Aravind by writing to us.

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