The migration of snails over great bodies of land has been somewhat of a mystery until fairly recently when one Japanese observer saw a bird release a moving snail within its droppings.
This odd phenomenon prompted a relevant study by a group of researchers at Tohoku University who found that a percentage of tiny land snails were able to survive the digestion system of a bird, and even more amazing, continue to live after the process of excretion.
The findings of this recent study were published in the Journal of Biogeography.
According to the researchers, some 15% percent of snails eaten by birds are able to survive the digestion process. Although this is far more than expected, it is also far from 100%.
The tiny land snails used in the research project were of the species, Tornatellides Boeningi. Within the confines of a laboratory, birds were fed the snails for the purpose of determining how many would survive the digestion system. Thus, the scientists arrived at the 15% survival rate.
Researchers were aware of this pattern of survival within the pond snail community, but the discovery that this may apply to the land snail population as well is an exciting insight.
Although it cannot be said for certain that this is the only way these snails transport themselves across the world, it does explain how they could get from one place to the other.
Snails are considered a delicacy in many parts of the world
Mother Nature is an odd lady indeed. She allows for plant seeds to be dispersed in the very same manner.
Talk about winging it!