Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Hibernating snails

One of the beauties of travelling is exploring and discovering new places and things.  I dropped my mom off in Despatch after a visit and swung through town to pick up a Geocache I hadn't ticked off my list.  I parked next to a couple of Coral Trees (Lucky Bean Trees as some people know them) and on my way back to the car noticed a whole bunch of snails on one of the trees.  And when I say a whole bunch I don't mean like 10 or 20.  There were literally hundreds.  On closer inspection I saw them on all the trees along the road but I selected the one with the most and grabbed my camera.
I've been sitting with these pics for a while now and posted one of them on my Facebook Page.  The pic got a lot of reaction and somebody asked why they do that.  Going back to the day I saw this, I noticed that non of them were moving.  It was as if they were dead.  A snail cemetery perhaps.  Pulling one or two of them off they had a film across the hole of the shell and the snail was still inside.  Peculiar.  So this morning I decided to consult my good friend Google.  It took some time but finally I found out that some snails go into hibernation, specially during colder months and very dry periods.  Not sure which one of the two was the cause of this mass hibernation as it was a dry winter.  Both perhaps but regardless, always nice to discover and learn something new.

I got the following information off Snail World:

Some snails Hibernate.
Some species of snails actually hibernate during the colder months of the year. They cover their bodies with a thin layer of mucus, which prevents them from drying out. Sometimes snails are also able to hibernate in the summer to survive if they are faced with a severe drought. They live off of the stored up fat during this time of year. This process is one of the many reasons why they have been able to survive for million years.


  1. wow Jonker, what an amazing find. I just love the different shell patterns and colours that you've captured in your photos.