New Zealand's Giant Snails are Unexpectedly Fierce Predators

New Zealand's Giant Snails are Unexpectedly Fierce Predators

We don’t give snails much credit. They’re small, slimy, and innocuous for the most part, so unless they’re munching on our crops, we tend to just let them do their incredibly slow thing.

Then there’s New Zealand’s Powelliphanta snail. The members of this nocturnal and carnivorous genus can grow to the size of a person’s closed fist and – as seen in this striking film by BBC Earth – they have a rather spectacular way of devouring their prey. Sneaking up on its unassuming earthworm dinner, it launches its elastic mouth towards it and draws it in with powerful, inescapable suction.

The earthworm tries to escape, but its attempts are for naught. In the dark and wet vegetation-covered landscape, the worm meets its end as all 6,000 of the snail’s teeth clamp down on it and chew it into oblivion.

The narrator of the incredible video notes that scientists are not sure precisely how the snails track down their prey.

 

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/new-zealand-giant-snail-unexpectedly-fearsome-predators/

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