National Snail Day is celebrated on May 29 every year in the United States. The day is an opportunity to appreciate snails and the benefits these diminutive creatures have to offer us. Snails are small slow animals that cause very little harm. They are an important part of the ecosystem. They are known to be one of the earliest animals to roam the earth. Fossil discoveries have been used to date primitive gastropods back to the late Cambrian period. This evidence means that snails have been around for about 500 million years.
History of National Snail Day
National Snail Day takes place every year in the United States. Snails are small shelled animals well-known for moving slowly; their speed depends on their particular species. On average, they move between 0.5 and 0.7 inches per second. Many places in the U.K. appreciate the creature where people organize snail races. They enjoy the irony and the fun of watching and waiting for the famously slow animals to reach the finish line. Snails create silvery mucus that leaves a trail behind them while they move. Land snails do not have the ability to hear and use their eyes and olfactory organs to navigate their environment. Their sense of smell helps them find food, making it their most important sensory tool.
Snails are gastropod mollusks distinguished by their most striking physical feature, a spiral shell. Situated on their backs, this hard structure composed of calcium carbonate protects their soft bodies and internal organs and keeps growing as they mature.
Snails are most active at night and usually come out very early in the morning. They tend to avoid moving too much on the ground when the sun is out. Snails have interesting biological features. Though some species have sex differentiation, most are hermaphrodites, which means that each snail has male and female reproductive organs, however, they mate like other animals with a partner. After mating, the snails lay eggs. The baby snails hatch from the eggs, and this is when they are most vulnerable. At this time, they are basically defenseless against predators like birds, turtles, and beetles.
National Snail Day timeline
Humans eat animals for survival and this sometimes includes snails.
According to the Roman historian Pliny the Elder, snail farming is practiced by Fluvius Hirpinus to meet the demand for snails.
Hirpinus feeds his snails with wine and meat, showing what a delicacy they are in Roman cuisine.
A snail stars in the animated movie, “Turbo,” about a snail obsessed with speed.
National Snail Day FAQs
What is the largest snail?
The largest land snail in the world is the giant Ghana snail which can reach up to 12 inches in length.
Why do snails secrete mucus?
Land snails secrete mucus to help them move more easily. The mucus reduces the friction against the ground.
What nutrients do snails need?
Snails need a healthy diet that is rich in calcium so their shell can be thick and healthy.
National Snail Day Activities
Snails can be prepared in different ways that you might enjoy. Research the best place to buy them, and look up a delicious way to serve them.
Learn more about snails
Do some research and learn more about snails. You will be interested to know more about their biology and characteristics.
Snails enjoy a wide variety of vegetables in their diet. Search your surroundings for snails and give them some of their favorite food.
5 Interesting Facts About Snails
Snails can be large
The biggest land snail is referred to as the Giant African Snail.
They hide in their shells
Snails are known to retreat into their shells in order to protect themselves when they feel threatened.
They hatch from eggs
Snails hatch from eggs — they can eat the shells of the eggs when they hatch.
There are many species
North America alone is reported to have about 500 species of land snails.
Escargot is eaten in France
Escargot is a dish made with snails that is native to France.
Why We Love National Snail Day
They are food source
They are a sought-after delicacy by many gourmet chefs. Additionally, several species of land snails are a source of protein for many poor communities around the world.
They live long
Snails usually live for about two to five years — when in captivity, they can live for 10 to 15 years.
They are interesting creatures
Snails court for a short while before mating. It can take about two to 12 hours.
National Snail Day dates