A classy group of land snails


In addition to freshwater molluscs, we also work with terrestrial snails. Our research is concentrated on the Caribbean snail family Annulariidae (ca. 700 species). A few examples are shown below.

About the author: Dr. G. Thomas Watters is the Curator of Molluscs

2 thoughts on “A classy group of land snails

    • The easy answer is “antipredation” but I have my doubts. The shells are fragile and even with the spines would probably be no discouragement to the rodents and birds that presumably hunt them. I have seen hundreds of spiny shells systematically and neatly crushed in the same place over and over by an unidentified predator. My secret theory, unproven, is that the sculpture dissipates heat like the vanes on a radiator. Many species occur on rock faces cooked by the sun. Species lacking such sculpture often burrow under rocks and debris to await cooler and wetter conditions – spines would only hinder their movement.

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