Giant African Land Snail

Overview

These aren’t your average sized snail that you’ll find in your garden. Despite their slow, slimy appearance, the giant African land snails are fragile and extraordinary to get close to.

Come and see the giant African land snails in the ‘Disscovery Zone' (only open at set times throughout the day).

All about us

Distribution: Native to Eastern Africa
Habitat: Found in agricultural areas, coast land, natural forest, planted forests, shrub lands, urban areas, and wetlands
Height: 7-10 cm (3-4 in.) (Shell length)
Weight: Around 250 grams
Lifespan: Average 5-6 years but can live up 10 years

About us

Scientific name: Achatina fulica

Giant African land snails are nocturnal, moving around at night to feed on a wide range of plants.

Their conical shell is a brown colour with weak darker markings that appear as bands across the spiral, although the colouration can vary. The mantle, the fleshy part inside the shell through which the foot protrudes, is a pale yellowish colour. The columella, the smooth inner surface to the opening of the shell is also yellow. The ‘head’ portion of the foot is light brown but the rest of the foot is paler with markings.

Giant African Land Snail Facts

When a snail grows it grows a new spiral every year, this is called a whorl.
They move along on a single foot, driven by waves of muscle contraction in the sole. A gland at the front of the foot produces slime for the foot to slide over.
Snails have teeth that cut up food as they eat, but a land snail has a rough tongue which has little hooks on it. These hooks scrape off tiny bits of leaves, fruit and other foods which the snail can then eat. These teeth are called radula.
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