Sunday, December 12, 2010

Apple Snail by Jacque Prado

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Kindgom: Animalia

Phylum: Mollusca

Class: Gastropoda

Superfamily: Ampullarioidea

Family: Ampullariidae

Ampullariidae, also known as Apple Snails, is a family of freshwater snails. They can be found in swamps, ponds, ditches, lakes, and rivers. They prefer lentic (still) water rather than living in waters with strong currents. Their size can be anywhere from 5cm to 6 inches depending on the species. Due to their size and attractive appearance, they have now become a popular pet. They are mostly lazy snails and only move around when they need to eat or reproduce.


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Apple snails have both a gill and a lung in which the mantle cavity divides them in order to keep the two types of respiratory structures separate. This adaptation allows them to be moderately amphibious. The Apple Snail has an osphradius that is located in the mantle cavity in front of the lung which allows them to smell chemicals in the water. Their tentacles are very important sensory organs, and they may even be longer than the snail’s body. They also have a muscular foot that is used for locomotion.

Form and Function:

Apple Snails like to feed off of algae and aquatic plants, but if they are a pet living in a fish tank, they like to eat apples and other fresh fruit. Apple snails have a very strong sense of smell, and use it to find food and other snails of its own species (to find a mate). They have a three chambered stomach that is pink and U shaped. The Apple Snail is not hermaphroditic, it is dioecious. Intercourse lasts between 12-20 hours and then the female lays her eggs on walls or plant stems. They have a shell door that allows the snail to close the shell during dry periods to prevent them from drying out. They’re predators are birds, alligators, turtles, and they are the exclusive food of the snail kite.

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Impact on the World/Humanity:

Apple Snails transfer the parasite Angiostronglyus cantonesnsis (rat lungworm). This parasite lives most of its life inside the snail and if not cooked enough before eating, can infect humans. This causes eosinophilic meningitis (mostly in South East Asia and the Pacific Basin). This may lead to death or permanent nerve and brain damage.

Journal Article Review:

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This article is about how Apple Snail eggs are coated with an enzyme inhibitor which makes them indigestible. The eggs are covered in a protein called PV2 which is added by the mother so that the eggs don’t dry out in the sun. This protein when consumed by mice can either damage their spinal cords or if they consume a lot, it will kill them in up to 30 hours.


"Ampullariidae." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 12 Dec. 2010. .

"Angiostrongylus Cantonensis." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 12 Dec. 2010. .

" - What Do Apple Snails Eat." WikiAnswers - The Q&A Wiki. Web. 12 Dec. 2010. .

The Apple Snail (Ampullariidae) Website. Web. 12 Dec. 2010. .

"Predators." Southeast Ecological Science Center. Web. 12 Dec. 2010. .

"Zoologger: Weaponised Eggs Turn Predators' Stomachs - Life - 08 December 2010 - New Scientist." Science News and Science Jobs from New Scientist - New Scientist. Web. 12 Dec. 2010. .

All Images:

The Apple Snail (Ampullariidae) Website. Web. 12 Dec. 2010. .

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