This scaled wormsnail is the ultimate homebody.
It’ll stay right here, stuck to this rock, for the rest of its life.
Its more adventurous cousins carry their homes on their backs as they explore this tide pool searching for food.
But this snail’s perfectly content with a more sedentary lifestyle
And if it needs some privacy it can always use its foot to shut the front door Bye.
That little shell fortress provides protection and gives them a cozy spot to wait out low tide here on the California coast.
When the tide comes in and it’s feeling brave, it’ll reach out with its tentacles and test the water to sense which way the current is flowing, All while keeping an eye out for trouble.
But being such an indoor enthusiast comes with some drawbacks.
It can’t go out for food.
So the wormsnail needs to get creative.
It uses the one thing a snail’s got plenty of … mucus.
Instead of just using that slimy stuff to slide around like other snails and slugs, the wormsnail secretes thin, nearly invisible strands of slime that cling together and form a sticky trap.
From the safety of its tiny shell tower it casts its net into the sea, Then the snail hauls in a bountiful catch of tiny organisms, carried by the currents, along with yummy bits of kelp and debris churned up by the waves.
That’s the snail’s radula — a raspy belt of hooked teeth that drags the net into the mouth.
Then it’s down the hatch ….
Mucus net and all Mmm mucus net, A hungry wormsnail lets nothing go to waste.
It seems like it’s got this quiet life all figured out.
But of course that all depends on your neighbors.
If they’re too close you could get your nets all tangled together.
Then it’s a full-on tug of war.
Neither one wants to lose its fair share of the catch.
And if it can take home some of its neighbor’s too, Hey, even better.
After all, it’s every snail for itself.
Hey, it’s Laura.
Snails aren’t just creative when it comes to getting food.
Check out our episode on amorous garden snails.
They’ve got a very um … involved love life.
That includes stabbing each other with “love darts”.
Check it out.