February saw the World Science Festival go to Chinchilla. It is not surprising that many children and adults enjoyed seeing and learning about our native land snails. The highlight was getting to hold a snail and our snails, who much prefer their nocturnal habitats, performed admirably and allowed many students (and their teachers and parents…the big kids) to enjoy these fascinating creatures.
Lots of fun was had at Kogan State School, a small school about 30km from Chinchilla where we worked with all the classes including prep and also Jandowee State School with Prep, Year 5,6,7 and 8. Congratulations to all the students who showed such interest and asked such good, in-depth questions.
We are now grandparents to about 50 baby snails which hatched in our terrariums this week. These are the Camaenid SQ17 (undescribed species) from the Hummock near Bundaberg. We hope to raise some to adulthood in about 2 years and this should be an interesting exercise. The shell they have since hatching from the egg will form the protoconch and the shell they will now grow (teleoconch) will be a different pattern and eventually have stripes like the larger adult snails that can be seen here.
The most interesting part of this story is that when they were collected, the Snail Whisperer found an old abandoned suitcase in the forest. And it was full of these snails!. So they are actually suitcase babies.