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Can Snails Live after Being Eaten?

Some snails can survive being digested in a bird's stomach, and at least one specimen is known to have produced live young after being digested. In a Japanese study, about 15 percent of snails survived a trip through a bird's digestive tract and came out alive and unharmed on the other side. The research directors believe that this might indicate that the snails benefit as a species by being consumed by birds, since they can be spread geographically, like seeds often are, through the bird's excrement.

More facts about snails:

  • The Giant African land snail can grow as long as 15 inches (38 cm). The largest of these land snails can weigh as much as about 2 pounds (about 0.9 kg).

  • Snails are different from slugs. Generally speaking, if it has a shell, it's a snail, but if not, it's a slug. Snails are actually mollusks, like clams, oysters and octopi.

  • All land snails are hermaphrodites, though they do not commonly self-fertilize.
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