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Tiny snail spreading across the globe


Posted on Thursday, 6 September, 2012 | Comment icon 7 comments | News tip by: Still Waters


Image credit: USGS

 
The miniscule New Zealand mudsnail has been found in Europe, North America and elsewhere.

Despite its small size, the snail is particularly adept at spreading in to new areas and can now be found in countries all over the world. In some places it has no natural predators, allowing it to out compete other snails and insects. The snail is also able to reproduce very quickly and can survive out of water for up to two days.

Now considered an invasive species, the general advice for halting the spread of the creatures is to dry out fishing equipment for at least 50 hours when moving between ecosystems and to try to keep animals away from infected water sources to avoid the snails spreading.

"What makes this mudsnail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum, such a good invader? The answer lies partly in the species' ability to reproduce quickly and amass in high densities."

  View: Full article |  Source: CBS News

  Discuss: View comments (7)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Hasina on 5 September, 2012, 19:34
All animals were invasive at one point or another. We're an invasive species all over this world, except Africa. Still, totally awesome that such little dudes get around.
Comment icon #2 Posted by 747400 on 5 September, 2012, 19:39
Colonising Earth? You mean it comes from somewhere beyond this Planet? Well, and to think that the first evidence of extraterrestrail life we've found is a Snail. It just goes to show, see.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Simbi Laveau on 5 September, 2012, 20:18
I would buy plants for my fish tank ...weeks later,I would find like 2-3 tiny snails on the glass inside the tank. Wtf,and emaculate snail ? No.probably a wee one in the plant,and now reproducing. My bettas would eat them,snail and all,but if theydidnt ,the snails would have taken over the tank . That happened to me no less than a dozen times with plants with a snail attached . They are cute,but insidious .
Comment icon #4 Posted by Hilander on 5 September, 2012, 21:00
Survival of the fittest and its a frail little snail.
Comment icon #5 Posted by jgorman628 on 5 September, 2012, 22:35
Interesting. If they are being transported due to natural means I would say that it is just natures plan. If they are being transported by mans intervention, tropical plants for fish tanks (thanks Simbi for that idea), then it is troublesome. At least they weren't introduced as a means to kill off another species, Cane Toads in Australia for example.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Arbitran on 7 September, 2012, 3:06
Invasive species like this one are always both fascinating and alarming. On the one hand, to see a species be so well-adapted that it can successfully spread across the globe is rare and intriguing; but on the other hand, the destruction of ecosystems and fragile ecologies, such as the mudsnail threatens most, is a decidedly perturbing possibility.
Comment icon #7 Posted by beibeiqi on 5 October, 2012, 6:14
Yeah but I'm pretty sure humans vs. snail they would be wiped out in a second if they were even threatening. I haven't even "seen" them so if they are around where I live they aren't even visible or a bother to me. So I really could care less. Obviously if they were destroying vital plants and livestock it'd be a different story. I highly doubt even if these thing multiply very fast they will take over anything.


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