Friday, April 30, 2010

Snailerinas and Wet Mushrooms

So we found a home for three snails. A friend with an aquarium took them. So that's approximately 17% less snail in the aquarium. That means 17% less snail poo and maybe the water will be 17% less cloudy now. Hmmm. I'm not going to hold my breath. Now I only need to find homes for about 75% more of them. Snail anyone?

But they *are* cute. It's fun to watch them. You'd think a snail would be boring.

S l i d i n g     o h     s o     s l o w l y     a c r o s s     t h e     b o t t o m     o f     t h e     t a n k .

Doing nothing all day but sucking algae off the glass and slowly waving its tentacles in the water. But you'd be wrong. Oh sure, they do

s l i d e     o h     s o     s l o w l y     a c r o s s     t h e     b o t t o m     o f     t h e     t a n k .

But they also slide a little quicker sometimes. Up the coral. Up and down the sides of the tank. All over each other. On their algae wafers.

And not only that, sometimes they do ballet! Yes, you read that right! They do ballet. Snail ballet. Snailerinas. Just the other day I was watching the little critters and one launched herself up into the air. (I'm assuming it was a girl because it was doing ballet, but it could have been a boy. I didn't check. A little Mikhail Snailyshnikov perhaps?) Snails have a lung that they fill with air from the top of the tank. This one apparently had a full lung. She must have been clutching the floor with her foot, then POP! let go. And she floated up to the top and bobbed on the surface for a minute. Then, she began to twirl. Maybe it was just the slight current from the filter, but I don't think so. I think she did it on purpose. She twirled her little slimy snaily body in circles, pirouetting around the surface of the water like she was in a ballet - Swan Lake perhaps. Even snails dream of fame and fortune, right? The ugly duckling, er snailing, had turned into a beautiful swan. It was downright beautiful.

But seriously, they do that occasionally and it's fun to watch. The bobbing and twirling, the sliding and crawling. And the falling too. Once in a while they just let go of the edge and fall gently down to the bottom, occasionally grabbing onto a (plastic) leaf on the way.

And get this. This was just so cute! One of them, I don't know his name, climbed up to the very top of the coral. The tippetty toppiest part and raised his little siphon (the tube they use to suck in surface air). The surface was still an inch or so away, so he stretched and stretched and stretched his little siphon as far as it would stretch and he still wasn't quite there. So then he stood on his tippy toe. His foot edges gripped tight and he rose up in the middle just a little higher.

And then he seemed to lose his balance. (You didn't know snails even had balance, did you?) And he   e v e r     s o     s l o w l y     tipped down over the edge of the coral. And then he climbed down. It was the cutest thing. He never did quite reach the surface. He had to take the long way - down the coral, across the gravel, to the glass, and all the way up the glass side until finally! Air! Fresh air! And he gulped it in.

And you should see the acrobatics. Toss in an algae wafer, and within minutes you have a teetering tottering pyramid of snails. One stacked atop the other with the bottom one balanced on the algae wafer. It's pretty amazing.

Oh oh and you should see them when it's just one with an algae wafer. I've actually seen them roll over onto their backs (ok, their shells), clutching their algae wafer in their foot. They play with it that way for a while. And you can't tell me they just tipped over while eating! Because their mouths are no where near the wafer. They are playing I tell you!

So, see. Snails are not the boring, slow-moving, dull lumps that you think they are. They have personalities and are very active.

That said, I still have way way too many for my tank. And the thought of escargot isn't sounding any better. Really, how can anyone even think of eating those things. They are slimy. And rubbery. Like wet mushrooms. *shudder* They are cute to watch, but eating? No!


No comments:

Post a Comment