Snail species can be split into three groups, land snails, sea snails and freshwater snails.
Most species of snails have one or two pairs of tentacles on their heads to help them assess their surroundings. Many land snails have two sets: one to help them pick up smells, and one carrying their eyes. Some kinds of land and sea snails don't have any eyes at all, so they rely on other senses, using their tentacles to reach feel and smell what's around them.
A land snail is one of the slowest creatures on Earth, using its single foot to move at an unimpressive speed one millimeter per second. They leave behind a trail of mucus known as a slime trail. Produced from a gland in the snail's foot, the slime acts as both glue and lubricant allowing land snails to crawl up vertical surfaces without falling off. The snail's slime trail is often visible as a silvery track on surfaces such as stone or concrete. Researchers have discovered that snails move in convoys, piggy-backing on the slime of other snails to conserve energy.
Snails can be eaten by humans. Snail meat is usually roasted or fried. In French cooking, snail is served as a special treat called “escargot.”
Meet the land snail...
"Bein’ a land snail’s a dirty job. Most gardeners call us pests, but they ought to call us VIPs, 'Very Important Pests,' because we do some very important jobs in the ecosystem.
Down here at the bottom of the food web, we land snails do the jobs nobody else wants. Me?... I eat rotting vegetation and fungi and sometimes I eat dirt. This helps the soil. The other dirty job we get stuck with is even worse: snails provide food for all sorts of birds, earthworms and insects. Just to set the record straight, we don’t bring them their meals – we ARE their meals, for cryin’ out loud!
Oh, well… I show up and slug it out every day because, remember, we’re all just doin’ our jobs as part of the natural ecosystem. Call me a pest if you want to, but bein’ a land snail? It’s a dirty job.
Okay, back to work..."