Are snails right or left handed?

Australian land snails are almost always dextral i.e. they have a right hand opening. A few rare species are sinistral [left hand opening]


Common form with right hand opening:

Eastern Trumpetsnail

Gyliotrachela australis





Rarer left hand opening:

Border Ranges Staircase-snail

Velepalaina strangei




12 thoughts on “Are snails right or left handed?

  1. It is fascinating that there are 3000 species of snails and that they live 5-15 years.I also did not know that snails were most commonly right handed

  2. I love reading about the different species of snails. I was fascinated to know that there are 3000 different speicies of snails and that they live up to 5-15 years long. I did not know that!!!

    • They don’t have hands. They do have a foot. It is a way of explaining which way their shell opens and that has evolved over many millions of years. Yes, it’s fascinating.

    • Did you know that a Nobel Prize scientist, Eric Kandel, an American neuropsychiatrist who studied how memory works and how memory is stored in neurons, used a Mollusc similar to a snail, a sea slug [we call them sea hares] Aplysia californica, to study how neurons worked. He used it because he decided that this was the simplest group of animals known to be capable of learning.

  3. Pingback: Most Aussie land snails are right handed! | Facts About Snails

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