Monday, 3 July 2017

Snails have homing instinct and will crawl (slowly) back to motherland if moved, BBC wildlife film proves

Sarah Knapton, Science Editor 
24 June 2017 • 6:00pm

For a creature which carries its house on its back, the need for a homing instinct might seem a little redundant.

But for the first time, scientists have proven that snails have their own territories, and will try - albeit very slowly - to make their way back if moved elsewhere.

In a unique experiment designed for the BBC Four's new wildlife programme, The British Garden: Life and Death on Your Lawn, Professor Dave Hodgson of Exeter University, collected 65 snails from a four corners of a garden in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire.

Prof Hodgson painted the molluscs bright fluorescent colours, depending on the corner they had come from, before placing them in the middle of the garden.

A fifth group of snails, brought up from Cornwall was also added to the mix as a control group, and painted bright green .


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