13 Stories

Name of Snail Species Is a Toast to Jimmy Buffett

Biologist made discovery in Florida Reef

(Newser) - Rüdiger Bieler is not the first person who, while spending a day in the Florida sun, had a margarita come to mind. The biologist also is a Jimmy Buffett fan, and when he spotted an unfamiliar sea snail with the citrusy color of the tangy cocktail while scuba diving...

Jeremy the Lefty Snail Dies, but He Finally Found a Mate First

Rare snail made headlines when scientists put out a call for a match

(Newser) - Jeremy, the unlucky-in-love snail whose left-curling shell made it tricky for him to mate, has died—but yes, he found a partner first. Jeremy made headlines back in May , when scientists at the University of Nottingham put out a call for other left-curling snails who could act as potential mates...

These Tiny Teeth Hold the Strongest Material on Earth

Move over, spider silk, another substance takes the lead

(Newser) - There's a new strongest material on the planet, and it's found in the lowly mouth of a tiny snail-like sea creature called a limpet. The limpet's teeth, which are about a millimeter in length, are made up of fibers of goethite, and scientists report in the Royal...

Snail Eats Fish After Drugging Them

Cone snail's toxin could teach us a thing or two

(Newser) - It may be small and slow, but the geographic cone snail packs a wallop. The creature eats fish after paralyzing them with a toxin, researchers find. When its prey swims by, it sends out a poisonous cloud that's packed with enough insulin to make the fish's blood sugar...

Some Lost Memories Could Be Restored
 Some Lost Memories 
 Could Be Restored 
study says

Some Lost Memories Could Be Restored

Study: Long-term memories aren't kept in synapses

(Newser) - A lost memory may not be lost for good. That's the takeaway from a "radical" new study that's transforming how scientists view long-term memory and giving hope to early Alzheimer's patients. Many neuroscientists have long-believed that memories are held in the connections between brain cells, known...

New Hermaphrodite Snail Gets Unusual Name

Scientists in Taiwan decide to name it after marriage equality

(Newser) - Scientists in Taiwan snuck in a nod to gay marriage when they named a snail that was newly identified on the island. The mollusks, which are hermaphrodites and thus possess both male and female reproductive organs, have for years been mistaken for A. subchinensis, a closely related land snail discovered...

Cavemen First Ate Snails 30K Years Ago
 Cavemen First 
 Ate Snails 
 30K Years Ago 
study says

Cavemen First Ate Snails 30K Years Ago

They even roasted them at site in modern-day Spain

(Newser) - The delicacy of escargot is by no means a modern one: It seems cavemen were munching on snails between 26,000 and 31,000 years ago. That's the age of an Iberian Peninsula site found by archaeologists and described in a new paper, Haaretz reports. Remains of Iberus alonensis...

Newly Created Drug Has 100 Times Morphine's Power

It's still in experimental stage, and makes use of snail venom

(Newser) - Move over, morphine. Someday, we may be turning to carnivorous snails for our pain-killing needs, a study suggests. Australian researchers have found that a drug made using venom from ocean-dwelling cone snails may be 100 times as powerful as top painkillers morphine and gabapentin, which are currently used to ease...

Lowly Snail Reveals Secret of Ireland's Origins
Lowly Snail Reveals
Secret of Ireland's Origins
new study

Lowly Snail Reveals Secret of Ireland's Origins

Human migrants brought snails from Pyrenees: researchers

(Newser) - The first migrants to Ireland some 8,000 years ago may have been Southern Europeans with a taste for escargot, according to new research published in PLoS One . It turns out that a lowly garden snail (Cepaea nemoralis) found in Ireland is genetically different from British ones—but incredibly similar...

Florida Invaded by Rat-Sized Snails
 Florida Invaded by 
 Rat-Sized Snails 
in case you missed it

Florida Invaded by Rat-Sized Snails

More than 1K giant African land snails caught per week

(Newser) - No, this is not a 1970s B-movie: South Florida really is dealing with an invasion of giant African land snails. The beastly mollusks can grow as large as rats (the biggest measure eight inches long, the Ocala Star-Banner reports), and can eat their way through plaster and stucco. More than...

Miami Battles Giant Snail Invasion

'I had never seen anything like it,' resident says

(Newser) - Miami authorities are struggling to wipe out an invasion of Giant African Snails that are munching on plants and proliferating wildly, the Miami Herald reports. Last week, a pair of sisters tipped off officials to the slimy creatures, which can grow up to 10 inches long by 4 inches wide,...

Aussie Snail Named for Croc Hunter

That'd be Crikey steveirwini to you and me, mate

(Newser) - In a tribute to the late Steve Irwin, a scientist who discovered a new species of snail in northeastern Australia has named it after the famed “Crocodile Hunter.” Says John Stanisic of the Queensland Museum , “Crikey steveirwini is a colorful snail, with swirling bands of creamy yellow,...

Snail Prices Shell-Shock French

Booming Eastern Europe having to pay harvesters better

(Newser) - The French may soon be shelling out big bucks for the 14,000 tons of snails it consumes annually. Most actually originate in Eastern Europe, where growing economic development means rural families aren’t as willing to take up the demanding task of snail-gathering without better wages. And that, reports...

13 Stories