|Ξ Poem||Snail Notes||Song ♫|
slithers: Although in some species, a snail in a hurry can propel itself like an inchworm, bunching up its entire foot by pulling the tail up to the head, then spreading out again by pushing the head forward, snails usually move by a subtler slithering motion, either peristaltically pushing back a wad of mucus or undulating forward by bunching up its foot in a small wave beginning at the tail.
scaling: The snail can adhere to any firm surface with the sticky mucus secreted by the sole of its foot, even if the surface is vertical or upside-down. It prefers smooth surfaces, which absorb less mucus.
pail: Snails have high water intake requirements, and will often drink from puddles, saucers, and buckets.
leaves: Although a few terrestrial snails are carnivorous or even cannibalistic, most are herbivorous, preferring a diet of glabrous leaves and decaying plant matter.
heather: Snails thrive in the moist climate of the heath, though the slender leaves of heather are not a favored food.
besnivel his trails with a silvery slathery slaver: Snails move by laying down a bed of viscous mucus, most of which it leaves behind as a glistening trail. The mucus also serves to predigest their food, giving rise to their zoological name, gastropod, meaning ‘stomach-foot’, although the actual stomach and intestines of the snail are up inside its shell.
wet, sunlight veiled, heavens pale, adrizzle: Snails expend a large amount of water to mucus secretion and to evaporation from their moist skin. In overcast and humid weather and on wet surfaces, they roam much more freely and rapidly.
sluggish: As the phrase “snail's pace” implies, snails move exceedingly slowly, typically in the range of thousandths to hundredths of a kilometer per hour.
Snails without external shells are called slugs.
lug all his cargo: Unlike their close relatives the slugs, snails carry a shell with them wherever they go. Though far thinner and lighter than the shells of its marine ancestors, the shell is still cumbersome to transport, if only because of its size.
dry, hot: In dry weather, the snail finds a cool shady hiding place and aestivates inside its shell, sealing the opening with a plug of several layers of mucus.
snooze: When sleeping, a snail retracts its entire foot (including its head) into its shell and pulls itself tight against a smooth surface for protection.
escargot: In English, we often use the French word for an animal when referring to it as food.
For more information on snails, see the Wikipedia Snail article.
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