Featured photo: A snail at a mall parking

A snail at a mall parking area in Metro Manila. (Photo by Carmie Hufano of NEU for Eagle News Service)


This snail was seen at a mall parking in Metro Manila amid the pandemic.  At the time the photo was taken, Metro Manila was still under Alert Level 4 last year, 2021.

It was just about an inch long, and New Era University student Carmie Hufano who took the shot, said she happened to see the snail slowly inching its way across a parking lot of a mall in Alabang, Manila one late Wednesday afternoon, November 10, after a brief rainshower.

“I found it cute, and remembered the movie, ‘Turbo’,” said Carmie referring to a 2013 Dreamworks Animation movie about a garden snail with a dream to become a racer.  Carmie said she just used a cellphone to take the shot.

The shot showed the snail’s mostly yellow spiral shell, its “muscular ventral foot” which it uses to slowly move its way around, and its two pairs of tentacles — the upper pair which have the eyes at the tips, and the lower pair which also works as olfactory organs to smell things.

This is a good shot as one does not usually see a snail’s tentacles since all land snails have the ability to retract them.

Did you know that snails are pulmonate animals? Meaning they have a lung specialized in using the oxygen obtained from breathing the air from the atmosphere.

But they do not have a brain. What they have are nerve cells that concentrate in a set of ganglia and emit neurosecretions that trigger necessary actions like the release of hormones. (https://www.snail-world.com/snail-anatomy/)

Snails’ sense of sight only detect only the “intensity of light to recognize whether it is night or day; They can move their tentacles up or down to improve their ability to see.”

“However, they are practically deaf since they have no ears nor ear canal. To compensate this absence of hearing they have an excellent associative thought which helps them remember the places where they were or where the objects of their surroundings are,” according to snail.world.com.

Also, “snails in urban centres are more likely to be yellow than pink, an effect predicted on the basis of thermal selection,” according to an article in nature.com which featured a study on snails. (https://www.nature.com/articles/s42003-019-0511-6)

“Urban yellow snails are also more likely to carry dark bands at the underside of the shell; these bands might affect thermoregulation in yet underexplored ways,” it said.

When snails sense danger around them, they hide into their shell.

So the next time you see a snail, it’s certainly worth taking a second look.

(Eagle News and Features)