The tale of the flying snail

Darwin’s theory that snails hitch a lift with birds proves plausible.

For an animal with one foot, it certainly gets around. Even across oceans.

Scientists have shown that the land snail Balea perversa has somehow managed to travel from Europe to the Azores, then right down the length of the Atlantic Ocean to a remote set of isles between South Africa and South America – a 9,000 kilometre trip that seems unlikely for an animal that doesn’t even know how to swim. The snails also seem to have made the return trip back to Europe.

The Tristan da Cunha islands, the furthest point from Europe where the snails have been found, are “among the most remote islands in the world”, says Richard Preece of the University of Cambridge. Preece and his colleagues confirm, through a genetic study published in Nature, that the snails in both places are of the same genus1.

The complete story


~ by khamael on January 26, 2006.

One Response to “The tale of the flying snail”

  1. O caracol é um bicho
    Que desliza no orvalho.
    Dá curvas a 120,
    Ah caracol do car****!!

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