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Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Amateur scientist Ruth Brooks believes that the garden snail has a homing instinct.

She became frustrated with snails eating her plants and veggies. She didn't want to kill them so she she took them away to a nearby piece of waste land. But she found that they kept coming back.

Gardeners lore says that snails have a homing instinct.

She contacted the BBC radio programme Material World who put her in touch with Dr Dave Hodgson at Exeter University.

They devised a series of experiments to assess the snails' homing ability.

Ruth's results suggest that snails are able to home. She found that her snails were able to return to her garden unless they were placed more than 10 metres away.

According to Dr Hodgson:
The conventional thinking is that snails are far too simple to be able to find their way home. So if Ruth's findings are true we'll have to rethink our theories.

Of course one sample is no where near enough.

BBC Material World are organising the Great Snail Swap to provide more data. There a video on the link.

There a facebook page if you are interested.


Tricia said...

I'm absolutely convinced that they do. I used to remove several from a particular plant and put them the other side of a wall.... they were always back the following day in exactly the same place!!

oldcrow61 said...

I'm convinced as well. I use to take slugs off plants and because I didn't have the heart to kill them, would put them over in the woods. Next morning all were back again. Same plants, same place, lol.