Giant African Snail from Animal school visits Derbyshire

What does an African Snail look like?

If you go to a local park or even your back garden you are bound to find some snails. Alike the African Snail has a light to dark brown shells with vertical stripes of a darker shade of brown on them. The body has two short tentacles and two long ones that have the eyes. These snails are also slimy and slow. However African snails take their size to a whole new level.
The shell of the giant African snail reaches up to 7.8 inches in length and 2.7-3.9 inches in height. An adult weighs about 32 grams.

What animal class are they?

The snail is in the class – Gastropoda, they are cousins to other animals such as slugs, limpets, and sea hares.

Where do they come from?

Just as the name says, these snails are native from Africa. However, they also got introduced to nearby islands such as Ghana, Ivory Coast, Morocco and others. Overall, the Giant African snail now dwells on all continents except Antarctica

What do African Snails eat?

African snails have an enormous appetite! They can eat up to 500 different types of plants, including the ones farmed by humans.

The Giant African Snail eats leaves, flowers, fruits, stems, bark, wood, seeds, grains, nuts, seaweed and even lichens, fungi and other snails. They also eat the same food as us humans such as cauliflower, cocoa, papaya, peanut, banana and many other vegetables often become food for this giant snail.

How do you tell the difference between a male and a female?

Don’t waste your time trying to tell the males and females apart. This is because snails are hermaphrodites. This means that the snail is both male and female and any gender they can have babies.

Is an African snail a good pet?

These snails are beautiful and exquisite. However, they are not very active. Therefore if you’re looking for an upbeat pet, maybe the African snail is not the best.

How do you look after an African Snail?

  1. Make sure you give your snail the correct habitat. A tightly lidded container with the measurements of 5 inches (65 centimetres) by 18 inches (45 centimetres) by 16 inches (40 centimetres) is best for your snail
  2. Snails are beautiful to be left alone, however, if you do decide to get another snail as a friend be sure, to be ready for some baby snails. As stated above snails are hermaphrodites, so you are likely to get a baby snail.
  3. These snails like dirt; therefore you should lay down a 2cm thick layer of use peat-free compost (not your garden soil – that’s harmful to snails). Also, include a slightly broader area so that your snail can burrow itself.
  4. Just like the Pacman Frog (https://animal-club.co.uk/2018/10/02/pac-man-frogs/) African snails like their soil and cage to be damp. So every day you need to spray the cage, so it’s wet, not soaking.
  5. Make sure the cage isn’t in direct sunlight not in the dark. Find a healthy middle balance.
  6. Change the bedding once a week. You wouldn’t like it if you slept in dirty linen!
  7. Feed the snails with big chunks of lettuce. Fresh pieces are what your snail will like best.

 

To meet our Giant African Sail click here – https://animal-club.co.uk/booking-animal-club-visit/

Questions for the class (skim read above to find answers)

 

  1. Label one feature on the African snail
  2. What animal class is the snail?
  3. Name two places where you may find a wild African snail
  4. Name three foods the snail eats
  5. Why can’t you tell a clear gender with the snail?
  6. Are snails energetic animals?
  7. What should you lay on the bottom of the snail’s container?
  8. Should the habitat be soaking or damp with water?
  9. What food (found in your fridge) could you give the snail
  10. What’s your favourite fact, you’ve learnt about snails?

Giant African Snail is an excellent creature to bring to:

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