Tales of Snails

To The Dark

As a child, I had a fascination with paramecium and diatoms.

I keep wondering how my children would have developed had they not been brain-damaged by their baby shots.  I think I would have been less—alone…

Did I have children in order to have those I could truly ‘talk’ to?  I don’t know—maybe.  I do know the very idea sets me to tears.

We did have much fun and I exposed them to what I could.  Here is the story of the 3 snails…

Shhh, Dark… quiet.  Don’t tell anyone…  I’m looking for those three damned snails in my files and have only found these…

Brain Neuron Degeneration via Mercury

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Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

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Retrograde degeneration of neurite membrane structural integrity of nerve growth cones following in vitro exposure to mercury

21 December 2000

Read More HERE

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Wait—wait—in looking for our garden snails, I found far more…

A loveless left-handed snail can’t find a mate by whyevolutionistrue

Is there a Match.com for gastropods? Because if there is, “Jeremy,” a rare left-handed variant of what the Torygraph says is a garden snail (Cornu aspersa) needs to put up his profile pronto:

Left-handed garden snail seeks mate for companionable dinners (no garlic butter!), long crawls on the beach, and, above all, mating. No right-handed snails need apply.

Most land snails have right-handed coiling, but the Torygraph reports that researchers at Nottingham University found a rare, left-handed variant: a one in a million find. Naming it “Jeremy” (these are hermaphrodites), they started a worldwide search for another left-handed snail, because, for reasons shown just below, lefties can only mate with lefties, and righties with righties:


Alas, poor Jeremy was a big-time loser. As the Washington Post reports:

And just weeks later, after drawing international attention, Jeremy’s love story appeared to reach a fairytale ending. Not one, but two left-coiling mates came forward: “Lefty,” a snail owned by a collector in England, and “Tomeu,” a snail rescued at a restaurant while awaiting a fate as a menu item.

As winter hibernation came to a close, Davison hoped the heat would turn up for Jeremy and one of his two possible mates.

“But in a tragic twist, Jeremy has been left shell-shocked after being given the cold shoulder by both of his suitors,” Davison said.

That’s right, Jeremy was thrust into a love triangle. The other two snails took a liking to each other, leaving Jeremy a bachelor once more. Lefty and Tomeu began copulating, and now have produced about 170 eggs between them, Davison announced Wednesday.

Photo by Angus Davidson

“We liken it to when you’re interested in someone romantically and you end up introducing that person to your best friend,” Davison said. This first batch of eggs to hatch were “fathered” by Lefty and laid by Tomeu in April. (Snails are hermaphrodites so they can take on the role of either mother or father.) Two more batches of eggs — another laid by Tomeu and one laid by Lefty and fathered by Tomeu — will soon be hatching.

The curious thing is that all the offspring of Lefty and Tomeu have right-handed coiling! How could that be? Well, it’s an interesting story of snail genetics and how the genes for coiling are inherited and activated, but I’ll let a reader fill in that part.

Here’s Jeremy along with a snail of opposite coiling:

And Lefty and Tomeu mating (TRIGGER WARNING: SEX: NSFW!) Poor Jeremy!

“Lefty” and “Tomeu” are pictured mating. (Courtesy of Angus Davison).

As of last May, the aging Jeremy was still a virgin. Lefty went back to her owner (these are rarities), but the researchers still hope that Jeremy and Tomeu will mate. With further judicious crosses, they could produce an entire race of left-handed snails, and they’d in effect be producing a new species, since members of that group couldn’t mate with the right-handed type.

Jeremy the Lefty Snail and Other Asymmetrical Animals

This is the fascinating story of Jeremy, the one-in-a-million snail whose shell coiled to the left rather than to the right. Starring: Dr Angus Davison ​ Produced by: Dr Robert P Cameron and John Andrew Cameron Filmed by: Emily Munster Edited by: Dr Robert P Cameron Narrated by: Sophie Sanger Runtime: 15 minutes ​ Filmed: 20th of February 2018 Released: 17th of December 2018 Check out @leftysnail on Twitter for more information.

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Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

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The slither of tiny feet – rare ‘lefty’ snails produce offspring following public appeal

Read More HERE

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Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

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Jeremy, the rare lefty snail caught in a love triangle, is left out in the cold

17 May 2017

Read More HERE

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An unusual snail named Jeremy finally found a mate. Now he is stuck in a love triangle.

May 19, 2017

Read More HERE

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Formin Is Associated with Left-Right Asymmetry in the Pond Snail and the Frog

Read More HERE

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Jeremy, the ‘lefty’ snail, finds love: Two mates with the same genetic condition are discovered for one-in-a-million creature after a global hunt 

Read More HERE

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RIP Jeremy the lefty garden snail

Read More HERE

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Weird, right?  That’s me!!

I was alarmed my oldest could not yet read in 2nd grade and found he loved Shel Silverstein poetry.  We lay in his hospital bed every night [me in the middle and a boy on each side] reading and laughing at Shel’s poems.  He became enthralled with one in particular and it pushed him to read.

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Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Shel Silverstein: Warning (Sharp-Toothed Snail)

Inside everybody’s nose

There lives a sharp-toothed snail.

So if you stick your finger in,

He may bite off your nail.

Stick it farther up inside,

And he may bite your ring off.

Stick it all the way, and he

Might bite the whole darn thing off.

I will never forget the thrill of watching him reading those poems  himself.

Well—goodness.  All I can find in my files is mating snails and poetry.  Finally—here is the story of our three garden snails:

“One summer—each and every day, I would notice these three garden snails make their way up the concrete, back steps to our beagle Tag’s food dish.  I chained him outside every day with his bowls of food and water.

He would sit proudly upon this lovely rock, a sentinel looking over us—guarding us every day.

But those three snails [or garden slugs, if you like] that traveled up the stairs to our concrete platform outside our back door were feeding off of dry dog food from our dog’s dish. 

I came up with the idea that we should remove the dog’s dish (sparing our dog, Tag, the slime), plunk ourselves down, and feed the slugs ourselves. 

We’d lace ourselves up the stairs and enjoy ourselves with discovery.  I’d have one child on either side of me.  We’d pat the slugs and watch them eat.  I had thought they would be slimy all over, but they’re not.  Their upper bodies have a skin that is akin to snakes.  It was a marvel.  They greeted us every day during the season.”

So I do have very treasured memories of my children I just wish I had known the children I had conceived.

Dark always coils around me when I think too many thoughts of my children—forgive me, Dark.

In the end—if I had been given a choice by the protocol and algorithm gods whether or not to exist…

If I had been presented with a statistical analysis of what these decades of mine were going to be like before my DNA emerged on the scene…

I would have declined existence altogether.

Fade to Black?  Not necessary—Black is already here.

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