So the snails are back. They all seem to come back whenever there’s a sudden rainstorm. There they all are wondering all over the pavements. And just when you’re not looking, “crack”, another one bites the dust.
You might say good riddence, but the snail isn’t so keen on being stomped out of existance. But what can snails do about this? They have only one choice… they must evolve.
The big question for the modern snail is what to evolve in to. The most obvious thing would be to turn your shell red or orange. Something with some high visibility for humans. But sadly there is something more deadly to snails than humans (so much for our much vaunted “top predator” status – not even snails are that sacred of us). The snails top predator is a bird and birds main problem is that they can’t see snails very well. So almost anything the snails do to make them more visible to humans will likely make them more visible to birds and that, from the snails point of view, would be a bad thing.
So what options do they have. Well my guess is that red is a pretty good colour for this situation. It would be nice and obvious for humans and while the birds might see it more it might also be that birds think that the snails are poisoned and so won’t try it. It’s a solution certainly but I don’t think it will work in the long run. Soon enough the birds will learn that despite the red colour snails aren’t poisonous. They could try and become poisonous but that sounds quite hard.
The long term solution was sitting right there on their backs the whole time. What the snails need to do is turn their shells into a kind of stealth bomber technology. A lot of birds and bats who eat snails use a thing like radar to find their pray, so the obvious solution to me seems to be to use this reliance on radar against them. The combination of red colour for humans, radar for bats and okay a little poison wouldn’t be such a bad idea – and would certainly stop people getting too many ideas with the garlic butter – all of this will save the snail. Gosh it sounds like it’s going to be busy, it better get on with it!
All of this reminds me of a joke:
What did the slug say to the snail?
Big Issue sir?