Slugs and also snails space generally differentiated by the existence of a huge exterior covering on the back of snails. Snails and also slugs are both gastropod mollusks, and also unlike many gastropods they room terrestrial i.e. Uncovered on land.

You are watching: Difference between a slug and a snail


cheese versus Snail comparison chart
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SlugSnailIntroduction Distinguishing feature Kingdom Class Phyllum Order Shell Common dimension Common Life expectations Antennae Eyes Speed
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Slug is a common name that is normally used to any kind of gastropod mollusk the lacks a shell, has a an extremely reduced shell, or has actually a small internal shell. Snail is a typical name for virtually all gastropod mollusks that have coiled shells in the adult stage. When the word is used in a basic sense, it has sea snails, floor snails and also freshwater snails.
Absence the exterior shell Presence that a large, coiled exterior shell
Animal (animalia) Animal (animalia)
Gastropod (gastropoda) Gastropod (gastropoda)
Mollusk (mollusca) Mollusk (mollusca)
Plumonata Plumonata
Internal; at time vestigial or lessened size. Coiled external shell, huge enough for animal to retract into completely.
Up come 15 in (38 cm). Up to 10 in (25.4 cm).
1-6 years. 2-3 year (wild); 10-15 year (captive)
Present Present
Compound Compound
Depends upon the species Depends top top the species; usual snail moves at about 1 millimeter per second.

Anatomy

The only far-reaching morphological difference between the slug and the snail is the snail’s conspicuous shell. This shell is large enough because that the snail to totally retract right into for defense. Part snails are likewise able to close off their shell once completely retracted.

Slugs execute not have this convenience that a mobile home for defense. Instead, numerous slugs have actually an interior vestigial shell to keep calcium. Since there"s no covering for protection, your soft tissues are prone come desiccation.

Other than this huge exterior feature, both mollusks have actually several comparable features, choose eye spots in ~ the end of slim tentacles, downward-directed mouths, and single, broad, muscular, flat-bottom feet, i m sorry is lubricated through mucus and covered through epithelial cilia.


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Physiology

Learn some quick facts around the banana slug, a certain variety that slug v this Redwood Ranger video:

Below is a detailed video of the land snail, or together we typically call it, the snail - that is anatomy, habitat and food habits:

Speed - i m sorry is Faster, Snail or Slug?

There space thousands of species of slugs and also snails, and they all crawl at different speeds. The speed of a usual snail is around 1 millimeter every second, or 0.002 mph. Part snail species are faster than some slug species, and also some snails execute not relocate at all — they stay placed at the bottom that the sea and feed on any kind of plankton that might drift your way.

Movement

The way snails and slugs move can be really interesting. In many snails, waves of muscular contractions move along the size of your foot to develop a stepping motion. In effect, they relocate on only one foot.

Habitat

Because there"s no shell, the slug can maneuver and also compress itself into hiding places with very small space, e.g. Loosened bark on tree or beneath rock slabs and also wooden boards. This provides it a great environmental and also survival advantage.

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Snails trade off that adaptability for the capability to conveniently retreat into their shells for protection, specifically from its natural enemies.

Both slugs and snails choose hot and humid climates with ample the shade for hiding.

Varieties

There are over 60 ranges of snails and an ext than 20 ranges of slugs discovered in Montana, USA alone. This video clip is a precursor come the many types of mollusks us come across:

As Food


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Snails, much more popularly recognized as Escargot, offered as delicacy in part countries

References


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