Snails are the most common object of fascination in childhood, children love to play with them while they are outside. But have you ever seen a baby snail?
Snails belong to the group of mollusks with a pronounced abdominal foot. They have a head in which eyes and tentacles are implanted. Many of them have a solid limestone protective mantle known as a shell on their backs. And how are snails born and are they born with a shell?
The snail hatches from the egg. The eggs are laid below the surface layer of the earth, or in the case of sea snails, placed in a protected area, such as rocks. It usually takes two to four weeks for the shell to burst and for a snail to emerge from it – with a house or shell.
Snails are born with their shells, but they do not initially look the way we know them. The baby’s first snail shell is colorless and very soft. Therefore, the snail must take in a lot of calcium, and its first meal rich in calcium is the shell of the egg from which it hatched.
As the snail continues to grow, so does its shell. The snail creates a new material from which the shell is “built”, which then hardens. The part of the shell with which the snail was born remains in the center of the spiral that grows together with the snail, and the number of rings increases with the number of years of the snail.