The Twelve Days of Snails

The holidays are a time for lists: shopping list, grocery list for the holiday meal, things I must accomplish before the year ends, and Santa’s naughty or nice list.  In case your wondering, all of us at DSN were naughty, except for me.  I’ve been more nasty nice.

To these lists, I will add the Twelve Days of Snails.  Consider it a list of the top 12 reasons why snails are bad ass.  This post is dedicated to my current student who is convinced turtles are cooler than snails.  Hope he has position next semester…just kidding.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my beautiful wife gave to me…

12 Bone snails snacking

11 Larvae lounging

10 Sequential lovers lovin’

9 Parasites piercing

8 Shells spiraling

7 Ladies laying

6 Radulas rasping

5 Iron-Clad Samurai Snails

4 Head penises

3 Hairy shells

2 Endosymbiotic bacteria

And a gastropod in a lit shell

Dr. M (1729 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (, connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.

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