General Question

henry_david's avatar

I have often wondered what the importance of snails is?

Asked by henry_david (67points) May 4th, 2008 from iPhone

Does their excrement help with fertilization or do they rid the world of unwanted pests?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

33 Answers

cheebdragon's avatar

to leave slime trails across the porch..?....

gailcalled's avatar

To go with the garlic butter and parsley.

El_Cadejo's avatar

i couldnt tell you about snails that live on land but marine snails are pretty important. They’re really great at cleaning aquariums and will eat algae. This in turn makes for a more stable environment in your tank.

peedub's avatar

Slow needs a mascot?

Allie's avatar

To learn the life lesson that too much salt will eventually kill you??

jrpowell's avatar

They serve the same purpose as humans. They fuck things up and don’t really help.

Really, I looked around and couldn’t find a good thing that they do. They are mostly destructive.

gailcalled's avatar

They eat lots of green vegetation that I am very fond of, and seem to be a food source for larger critters…but, I agree. Disgusting if you touch one by accident. And I have only slugs here (snails w/o shells)>

susanc's avatar

Hey, how species-centric can you get? Stuff wasn’t put here to make us humans happy.
Back off on the poor snails. Live and let live. Sheesh.

breanne's avatar

They’re very slow food sources for the more quick and clever creatures of the world. Apparently many vertebrates eat them, as well as other snails.

Personally, I always wondered what wasps were good for.

cheebdragon's avatar

I’d rather have snails around than wasps around.

peedub's avatar

Sure, but what would you rather be for halloween?

richardhenry's avatar

Nothing actually has to be good for anything, there isn’t any such ‘master plan’. Snails are good for eating, living, and breeding. It’s just coincidence if certain species end up inadvertently supporting or hosting one another, or making the growth or existence of another product possible.

syz's avatar

They are also carriers for some fascinating parasites that have to pass through multiple stages and multiple host species to reproduce. I am amazed at the complexity of evolution.

rowenaz's avatar

sometimes they have pretty shells…another humancentric idea….

timothykinney's avatar

It turns out that snails, as we know them, enjoy reproductive success. Voila!

Thus,not particularly important unless you are a snail looking for some action.

Zaku's avatar

We’re all part of the same planet. Healthy snail populations means healthy Earth.

Knotmyday's avatar

I firmly believe that snails were placed on this planet to pull tiny handcrafted (dixie cup, toothpick, jujy fruit) wagons across my mom’s kitchen floor. Chariot race, anyone?

Allie's avatar

Knotmyday: I used to do that when I was a kid. Good memories.

gailcalled's avatar

Here’s a serious answer.Snailbot

“Hosoi is part of a growing group of engineers around the world who are turning not only to snails but also other animals, like cockroaches and crickets, as a source of biological inspiration for designing new robots capable of going places and accomplishing tasks that traditional droids have not been able to do before.”

At UCBerkeley, Robert Full “studies the animals by watching them run on a tiny treadmill-like apparatus or recording the way they manipulate their bodies when they fall off vertical surfaces.”

Snail bigots, recant.

Zaku's avatar

Excellent, Gail!

gailcalled's avatar


Maybe we willl soon be able to harness an Escargatoire ( or rout or walk) of snails or an Intrusion of cockroaches as alternative energy sources.

Zaku's avatar

@Gail – Indeed… Quick, to the patent office! ;-)

tanfouk's avatar

Around here the raccoons and some birds eat them.

gailcalled's avatar

@tan: where’s “around here”?

rowenaz's avatar

At this point to sit in my freezer in their frozen garlic butter sauce until the mood strikes me…..

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

You could ask the same thing of cockroaches. As it is, I raise Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches as pets. Why? Because they are fascinating creatures, and I doubt PETA will ever chastise me for keeping them. PETA only seems to raise a ruckus about ‘purty’ animals.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra My sister used to have two of them, indeed they are fascinating creatures.

Joybird's avatar

There are some things that should just be eaten…snails and dandelions are two of those.

gailcalled's avatar

@Joybird: I learned recently that you can eat dandelion greens even now, in the middle of autumn.They are sold at my farmer’s market for lots of money.

El_Cadejo's avatar

dandelions taste surprisingly good IMO

gailcalled's avatar

@uberbatman: Particularly when they’re free

El_Cadejo's avatar

@gailcalled what isnt better when its free? I love being able to go out side my house and harvest my own food

gailcalled's avatar

@uberbatman:Milo here; Heh. So do I.

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