In addition to the fact that snails destroy the planting of vegetables and fruits, they are carriers of a large number of different infections. So who are they snails: insects or animals?
These are mollusks that came out on land, the gastropod class. Shell color is usually brown to blend in with the environment. The snails have a relief shell for a reason: thanks to the projections, it becomes more durable. On the snail shell there are outgrowths that also help in disguise. The eyes are located at the ends of the antennae, although in some species they are located at their base. Snails feed mainly on leaves and shoots. In many countries, dishes from snails are recognized as a real delicacy. Snails also used to serve as a means of decoration for humans.
The role of snails is very large.
- they are an important part of the food chain, because many animals eat them,
- they turn rotten grass into fertile soil, digesting it,
- snails are able to store water in their shells in large quantities.
These water snails the respiratory system is the lung, therefore, prudoviki are forced to rise to the surface of the water in order to breathe air. Prudoviki feed on various residues in water, algae and mud. Interesting fact: land animals are the ancestors of the pond creatures. That is why such a respiratory organ in pond snails is characteristic of terrestrial animals, but not of gills.
It will also be interesting to read about mollusks and caterpillars.
Place in modern classification
Is it possible to attribute a snail to insects or not? Or maybe she is a reptile or an amphibian? The answer will prompt any reference book on biology. According to the modern classification, snails are gastropods and no one else, that is, they are neither insects, nor reptiles, nor amphibians. But animals, like the representatives of these types, they are still.
The gastropods are a class belonging to the Mollusk type. It is very numerous, and its representatives have a number of characteristic features.
Signs of gastropods
First, we note that all mollusks are invertebrate multicellular organisms.
Torsia is the main feature of all snails. Scientists call this term a 180 ° curl of the internal cavity. For the absolute majority of gastropods, a spiral shell is also a characteristic feature. There is a special form - slugs that are not snails. Their shell in the process of evolution has disappeared.
Another characteristic characteristic of all gastropods (gastropods) is the asymmetric structure of the body and internal organs. These creatures move with the help of a leg that is covered with mucus for better sliding and protection from mechanical damage. In case of danger, the foot can also be drawn into the sink, as well as the head.
As you can see, any snail has all the listed features. So, we have every reason to believe that the snail is an insect is wrong.
Animals belonging to the gastropods class originally spread in the aquatic environment. But later, many families adapted to life on land and even acquired lungs. Today, toad species exist along with those who receive oxygen from the air.
It makes sense to consider this moment as well in order to understand finally whether the snail is an insect or not.
All members of the class have bodies such as:
- 3 pairs of limbs
- 2 pairs of wings.
The only similarity with snails is the presence of an exoskeleton. In insects, its role is played by chitinous cover, in snails - by the shell. With a big stretch, you can single out size as a similar external feature, but it should be noted that different species differ greatly in size. Giants are among snails, and among representatives of the type of arthropods. However, as well as kids barely visible to the naked eye.
Variety of snails
Note that none of the mollusk species known to science has signs that appeared in the process of evolution, which would be characteristic of insects. So, for a knowledgeable person, confusion is impossible even in individual cases. Thus, the answer to the question of whether snails are insects or not, always the same - no, they are not.
Meanwhile, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish representatives of the gastropods from one another. An example of this is a beautiful aquarium ampoule and a ground lawn, which some unscrupulous vendors sell to inexperienced aquarists. These species belong to different genera, but among themselves are very similar in appearance.
Along with such species, there are many quite unusual: huge and tiny, bright and monochrome, with a spherical and elongated, like a corkscrew, sink.
Snails around us
We already know that any statement that a snail belongs to insects is wrong. But these creatures sometimes live nearby: in gardens, meadows, forests, and swamps. Representatives of both classes of wildlife lovers have long learned to keep at home.
But in the depths of the sea mollusks with insects do not coexist, although there are many representatives of other classes such as arthropods in the underwater kingdom (for example, crayfish, crabs, shrimps are arthropods).
The question of whether the snail is an insect or not is quite common. But such confusion sometimes arises with other animals. Insects are often mistakenly referred to as spiders, scorpions, ticks and worms.
To determine whether a creature is an insect, you should not be guided only by its size and habitat. The list of attributes of the class, which we reviewed above, will help to avoid mistakes. For example, a spider has 4 pairs of legs and no wings, which means that it cannot be an insect. And the earthworm does not even have a single characteristic of arthropods.
Who are slugs
Another common misconception is that individuals resembling each other with and without a sink belong to the same species, but have a different gender or age. Understanding the question of the species of the snails, it should be remembered that slugs are not a developmental stage or a gender trait, but a common name for a number of mollusks that originated from gastropods, having lost a shell.
It is noteworthy that such forms were formed in different families of gastropods, both terrestrial and underwater. Therefore, scientists do not isolate slugs into a separate taxon, using this term as a collective name for representatives of different species. Of course, the insects do not include slugs.
Is a snail an insect?
The term "gastropod" refers to all who have a twisted, and in some cases conical, shape of the body. A characteristic feature of the animal is its shell, due to which the animal is standardly baptized with the definition of "snail". Nevertheless, this name is considered more popular, since the real name of the individual is gastropod, which has an external shell.
If this element is absent or, on the contrary, a rudimentary shell is present, then the representative loses the title of "gastropod" and goes to the slugs. Insect this individual will not be exactly, because the snail belongs to the animal kingdom. Therefore, for those interested, the snail is an insect or not, you can give a specific answer.
In order to finally determine which group the snail belongs to, it is necessary to talk in more detail about its distinctive features. The body consists of several parts, there are only three of them:
Some representatives of gastropods still have a mantle fold, this element is moving away from the bag. When moving, the bottom surface of the sole is used, whose muscles contract and push off from the surface. This is one of the main signs confirming which group of animals snails belong to. To reduce friction, the body emits a large amount of mucus, it is also designed to protect the feet from abrasion. There are some species of snails that can move along the surface due to the oscillations of small cilia, most often these are small representatives.
The contents of the giant snail house
So we determined whether the snail is an insect or not, now we can consider the conditions of such a pet. The Achatina snail is a rather large land mollusk, not an insect or an animal, reaching up to 30 cm in length. This unusual animal is an ideal pet for people who do not like noise, who are not able to provide constant care for their pet, but at the same time do not mind watching it. Also suitable for busy people who do not have free time.
Gastropods can be left alone at home if the need for departure has arisen, while for a cat or dog you need to find someone who will temporarily care for them. In addition, these animals do not cause an allergic reaction, and their maintenance does not require large financial expenditures.
You should first find out which group of animals the snails belong to so that no problems arise in the process of keeping. So, deciding to take home Achatina, first of all you need to take care of where she will live. Home for gastropods can be an aquarium or a terrarium. Even leaking, which is no longer suitable for keeping fish, is suitable. A prerequisite is the presence of a cover. First, the lid maintains the moisture content necessary for gastropods. Secondly, in the presence of a cover the animal will not crawl out of the aquarium. We must not forget that in the lid must be holes for ventilation. As for the size of the aquarium, it should be at least 15-20 liters per individual, with the addition of another 10 liters per second and each subsequent individual.
Achatina snail - a rather large land mollusk
Also in the aquarium should be the soil layer of such a size that Achatina could dig into it all. Usually the Achatines sleep in the ground, save themselves from the heat and lay (lay eggs). Purchased soil in flower shops. Land from the street for these purposes is not suitable because of the presence of life-threatening trace elements. Soil needs to be changed once every 2-3 months.
Due to the fact that the animal produces mucus that remains on the walls of the aquarium, it must be cleaned. This requires a separate sponge, as any detergent is dangerous to the life of the pet. Aquarium should be washed with hot water.
Attention should be paid to feeding the mollusk. The main products in the diet are fruits, vegetables, cut into thin slices, lettuce, dandelions and herbs. It is important to understand that grass should not be collected in urban areas. You can give gastropods oatmeal and powdered egg shells. Food should be at room temperature. It is better to feed the snails in the evening, since they are most active in the dark. Food should be put on a plate (plastic, in any case not glass).
The main products in the diet are fruits, vegetables, cut into thin slices, lettuce, dandelions and herbs
An important aspect in the maintenance of gastropods is reproduction. Achatina is a hermaphrodite. This means that for breeding the second individual is not required. The animal makes laying about 2-4 times a year. The number of eggs in the clutch is from 10 to 300 pieces. Such a number of small snails in good hands do not give, so many advise to freeze eggs in the freezer, and then crush and feed as calcium. If you really want to look at the development and growth of babies, then you can leave a few eggs in the clutch.
In conclusion, I want to say that despite the fact that the snails are very contact animals, you should not often plant them to crawl over the human body, as the animal may accidentally fall to the floor and damage its shell.
Can we put together snails of various kinds
You have a new snail and you have a question: to plant them together or separately? If you combine them, you will not have to buy a new box and equipment for it, and you will not need to devote more time to cleaning the street. And save, and the snails will be happy. But it is not. Each type of mollusks corresponds to its own living conditions regarding air humidity, temperature, soil, food. A slight increase in air temperature up or down on the health of one pet will have no effect, and the other (ai) may feel uncomfortable and ill. This also applies to moisture. Trying to satisfy both pets at once, you can harm them immensely.
From this it follows that in one container there must be snails of the same species, and if you have brought others, give them a separate area for living. It should be noted a few important factors that must be considered before buying and organizing a snail home:
- About food. Every type of snail prefers an individual menu. In principle, you can feed various mollusks with one meal, but someone eats a lot and someone eats little - they have a different appetite. So, if a snail and Ahatina Immakulat are in one box, then after a while you have the imprudence to lose the “grape”. Why? Achatina needs a huge amount of protein intake. In the case of his lack of - they can start eating their fellow tribesmen, which does not need a breeder and just snail lovers.
- Crossbreeding Snails, and in particular Ahatinas, are quite prolific creatures, besides hermaphrodites (they can change the sex). If there are 2 different species in the same house, the snails may begin to interbreed. As a result, non-existent hybrids will appear, as they will have genetic abnormalities and a propensity for disease.
- One species of different age. Snails of the same species, but different in size, are also not worth settling together. It is found that large mollusks often eat small ones. And if a big pawl starts to climb a small one, then in the second one, under the weight of an adult, the shell can crack and crack. Therefore, it is not recommended to settle together single-species snails of different sizes.
If you still plant several types of snails together, and you do not have the opportunity to put a separate ulitariy, then fix, at least, the partition inside the house, preferably transparent. So it will be more convenient for you to maintain the necessary conditions for a particular type of mollusks.