Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

SNAILS AND SLUGS Series: LET'S TALK ABOUT PARKS

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

SNAILS AND SLUGS Series: LET'S TALK ABOUT PARKS

Article excerpt

Kick up some damp leaves, or push aside a rock or log on your next trail hike, and you're likely to find a snail or slug. These squishy little creatures may not be particularly good looking, but they are quite fascinating once you know a little bit about them.

While snails carry shells and slugs do not, they are otherwise very similar. Both are classified as gastropods, a name that comes from the Greek word gastros (stomach) and podos (foot).

Snails and slugs have four tentacles - the two on top are their eye stalks, and if you look closely or use a magnifying glass, you may be able to see little black spots at the top of the stalks. These are their eyes.

The bottom tentacles work almost like our noses, allowing the snail or slug to sense chemicals.

If you find a snail or slug, you may notice that when they move, they leave behind a slimy trail of mucus. This mucus helps maintain the moisture in their bodies and also protects them from being cut as they move along the ground. …

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