The hugely successful Street Science event hosted by the Queensland Museum introduced the Snail Whisperer to about 2500 children and adults at the recent World Science Festival. Here are some of the highlights of the weekend.
Congratulations to the Snail Whisperer who is the winner of this award for 2018.The Queensland Natural History Award is presented annually by the Queensland Naturalists’ Club Inc. to give recognition to persons who have made outstanding contributions to natural history in Queensland. It has been awarded since 1992.
The award consists of a medallion featuring the Bunya Pine tree and is set in a polished block of Bunya Pine wood. The Bunya Pine Araucaria bidwillii is endemic to Queensland and is the symbol of the Club.
Come to this conference to hear The Snail Whisperer talk on snails of the Eyre Peninsula. If you are lucky, you can join him on a bioblitz walk where you can find the local snail fauna and learn more about snails.
Click here for conference registrations and more information.
From the Courier Mail 29 July, 2017. ‘Doctors may soon patch up cuts and wounds with a glue inspired by slug slime.’
Scientists have found that slug slime has the ability to stick to wet surfaces unlike most glues that require dry surfaces. Scientists have simulated the molecular structure of slug slime to create a glue that has in laboratory testing, successfully repaired a hole in a pig’s heart that was wet with blood.
Red-triangle Slug (Triboniophorus graeffei)
Sad news but not all bad. Book 2 was printed with errors and mixed pages so it’s back to the printers.
Looking good to arrive in October/November- just in time for Christmas presents.
‘Native snails [in NZ and Australia] don’t consume green vegetable matter, they live on decaying leaves, fungus, biofilm (microalgae growing on rocks and tree trunks). They use their little ribbon of teeth, their radula, to scrape food. It’s actually slugs who are responsible for most of the damage to home gardens, but they don’t leave incriminating shells,’ Stanisic says.
As the Northwest Times (Quest Newspapers) writes, ‘Life at a Snail’s pace might sound dull but the slow moving molluscs have lead one Albany Creek researcher on adventures more suited to an Indiana Jones movie than a lab‘.
At the Bush Blitz trip to Quinkan in far north Queensland, two new snail species were discovered but not before the Snail Whisperer suffered a tarantula bite. One species, a carnivorous snail, is separated from its closest relative at the Undara lava fields by 250km. The dry sandstone escarpments of this area are an unlikely environment for snails but the pockets of rainforest in this area showed that these animals representing 6% of terrestrial biodiversity, endure in even the smallest patches.
Conserving even small patches of vine thickets and rainforest is crucial to the survival of invertebrates.
Exciting news. Book 2 is printed and due to arrive in Australia next week. The book will be available through the Queensland and Australian (Sydney) Museum bookshops shortly. More to come.
Griffith University science students, Kris and Tim managed some amazing night shots of our native snails out and about in Mt Glorious, south-east Queensland during their studies of snail populations of this rainforest area.
Photos were taken by Ben Revell and show Thersites richmondiana and Sphaerospira fraseri on their nocturnal journeys. Richmondiana is enjoying a feast on a fungus, one of our native snails’ favourite foods.