Watch this Japanese snail defend itself by swinging its shell.
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Two subspecies of snails defend themselves from predatory attacks by swinging their shells. In a study released by Scientific Reports, an international team of researchers observed two types of snails—Ezohelix gaines from Japan and Karaftohelix selskii from Russia—hitting carabid beetles with their shells and knocking them over. Most snails withdraw into their shells and wait until their attackers leave them alone.
The researchers suggest that the type of shell and the snails’ defense strategies are interrelated. They also conclude that interactions with predators play a significant role on how snails evolved to defend themselves.
Study from Scientific Reports: http://www.nature.com/articles/srep35600
Snail Hits Predator with Its Shell | National Geographic
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