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Wednesday, 3rd October 2012
In General Japan News,

Japanese snail sheds tail to overcome predators

The sophistication of a Japanese snail has been identified by research published in the British science journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

It explained how the land snail known as Satsuma caliginosa had built up an ingenious defence system for surviving the threats posed by the snail-consuming Pareas iwasakii snake.

The study explained how the smart snail shed its tail to break from the grip of the snake, later regenerating the body part so they did not have to go without.

These 'isshikimaimai' snails reside on the Okinawan islands of Ishigaki, however, when scientist Masaki Hoso put a separate species of snail up against the same snake, they typically suffered an ill fate.

It was also found that younger snails were more accustomed to shedding their tail to escape the predator than their older counterparts, who were more inclined to use their shell for defence. 

"It is believed that this was a special case of adaption evolving from the need to counter snakes," Hoso, a fellow with the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, explained.

Posted by Susan Ballion