Monday, July 30, 2007

Slugs and Snails

Although closely related, slugs and snails seem to garner very different reactions from people. Not that all people like snails, but how many people do you know who like slugs? I thought so!
Brown Snail - 2
The snail is a much loved creature in children's books - I think the most famous snail is probably Brian who even has his own web site. A cheerful chap he is a true French "escargo" from the TV show Magic Roundabout.

So where is Sammy the Slug? Nowhere to be see. Which is unfortunate as slugs can be most attractive as this photo demonstrates.
Red Slug - Arion rufus
The problem, of course, is the poor slug's lack of a shell, a house on its back. Most slugs have some sort of exoskeleton though ironically this may be located inside the slug. Also, while snails have some external mucus (usually seen as their trails), slugs have much more mucus on their skin, giving a rather slimy look to the creature.