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Uploaded on on Jul 16, 2021


In broad terms, a snail is a shelled gastropod. Land snails, also known as terrestrial pulmonate gastropod molluscs, are commonly given this name. The term “snail” is also applied to most members of the molluscan class Gastropoda that have a coiled shell large enough for the animal to retreat fully within. When the term “snail” is used in this broad meaning, it refers not just to land snails but also to a variety of sea and freshwater snail species. Slugs are gastropods that don’t have a shell or have only an internal shell, and land snails with a very tiny shell (that they can’t retract inside) are frequently termed semi-slugs.

Snails are important to humans in a variety of ways, including as food, pests, and disease vectors, and their shells are used as ornamental things and in jewelry. The snail has cultural importance as well, as it is linked with laziness. The snail has also been used as a metaphor: “slow as a snail” refers to someone who is not progressing quickly enough. The snail has a shape that is comparable to that of the Cochlea.

Pulmonata refers to snails that breathe through their lungs. The Pulmonata, as conventionally characterized, was discovered to be polyphyletic in a molecular analysis by Jörger et al. in 2010. Snails with gills, on the other hand, belong to a polyphyletic group; that is, snails with lungs and snails with gills belong to a variety of taxonomic groupings that aren’t necessarily more closely related to each other than other groups.


Snails with lungs and snails with gills have diverged so much throughout geological time that just a few species with gills can be found on land while a large number of species with lungs can only be found in freshwater. Lungs may be found in a variety of marine animals.

Snails may be found in a variety of habitats, including ditches, deserts, and the deepest parts of the ocean. Although land snails are more recognizable to the general public, marine snails make up the bulk of snail species and have far more diversity and biomass. Snails of various types can also be found in fresh water.

On a banded ribbon-like tongue called a radula, most snails contain millions of tiny tooth-like features. The radula rips food into little pieces, much like a file. A few terrestrial species and many marine species are omnivores or predatory carnivores, devouring plants or rasping algae from surfaces with their radulae. When snails consume paper or cardboard, they are unable to absorb colorful pigments, thus their excrement are colored as well.

Giant African land snails are a group of species in the genus Achatina and allied genera that may reach a length of 15 inches (38 cm) from snout to tail and weigh up to one kilogram (2 lb). Syrinx aruanus is the biggest extant species of sea snail, with a shell that may measure up to 90 cm (35 in) in length and a total weight of up to 18 kg (40 lb). Angustopila dominikae, the world’s tiniest land snail, was recently discovered in China, measuring 0.86mm in length.

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