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Finding Food

Roman snails exclusively are plant eaters that may crawl amazing distances between resting places and feeding places.

On the search for food the Roman snail orientates by its tentacles. The large one sweeping the environment in a searching motion, give the snail an overview over its immediate surroundings. Sense cells, especially on the smaller tentacles search for promising traces of food smell.

It has been proved that Roman snails are able to find food in some distance and then directly crawl there. Limp food is generally preferred to fresh green plant parts.

Process of Eating

Like all molluscs the Roman snail as well uses a specialised organ to take in and process food. How a Roman snail uses it can best be seen, when it eats at the edge of a leaf. Then the snail can be observed pushing out its tongue and then pulling a piece of food into the mouth.

Only under a microscope it can be seen, that a snail's tongue in fact is a rasp tongue or radula, on which there are thousands of tiny little teeth in lateral rows. A tissue band armed with teeth moving over a gristle core is pulled through the food and so digs small particles from it, then transporting them into the gullet. In the rear part of the radula, new toothlets are formed, so those worn down can be replaced continuously.

Thanks to their radula, snails are among the few invertebrates that are able to grind their food before swallowing it.

Roman Snail while eating
- Picture: Weichtiere.at -

Microscope Admission of the
Radula of a Roman Snail


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