Saturday, 26 August 2006

Babysitter snails

While skimming the newfangled electronic intaweb for information about deep sea organisms, I found this little wonder: a species of Neptunea (family Buccindae) that looks after its eggs.

Usually, snails are not good parents. Once they lay their eggs, that's yer lot. (No wonder snails do so much damage in the garden. Put it down to deprived childhoods.) This species lays its eggs in a column, adding them in a spiral until its exhausted the reserve. Then, instead of a slow-motion skedaddle, mum stays at the top. She tends the eggs until they hatch and then she dies. Such is life.

Researchers on the submersible Alvin photographed these snails around methane seeps more than half a kilometre down off the western coast of the United States. It's a whole different world down there.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Then, instead of a slow-motion skedaddle, mum stays at the top.

A bit like what my wife does with the ironing basket really

Very magic other worlds,plural, down there.
And the fizzycysts continue to dispute how many angels can dance on Pluto?

pffft.

darky