Interesting Facts About Slugs: Have Only One Lung

Slug is a mollusk that belongs to the class Gastropod. There are thousands of species of slugs that can be found all over the world. Slug, or land slug, is a common name for any apparently shell-less terrestrial gastropod mollusc. They are adapted to the life on the ground and in the sea.
The word slug is also often used as part of the common name of any gastropod mollusc that has no shell, a very reduced shell, or only a small internal shell, particularly sea slugs and semislugs (this is in contrast to the common name snail that applies to gastropods that have a coiled shell large enough that the animal can fully retract its soft parts into the shell).
Slugs can reach ¼ inch to 10 inches in length, depending on the species. They can be whitish yellow, grey, brownish or black colored. Body is often covered with various dark markings.
Slugs play important role in natural ecosystems. They remove dead, decaying plant matter and serve as important source of food for various species of animals. In many areas, slugs are classified as pests because they are able to seriously damage garden plants and crops.
Here are 8 interesting facts about slugs:
1. Slugs don’t have teeth. Instead, they have organ called radula composed of thousand miniature protrusions that facilitate grinding of food.
2. Slugs’ bodies are made up mostly of water and, without a full-sized shell, their soft tissues are prone to desiccation. They must generate protective mucus to survive. Many species are most active just after rain because of the moist ground.
In drier conditions, they hide in damp places such as under tree bark, fallen logs, rocks and man-made structures, such as planters, to help retain body moisture.
3. When attacked, slugs can contract their body, making themselves harder and more compact and more still and round. By doing this, they become firmly attached to the substrate. This, combined with the slippery mucus they produce, makes slugs more difficult for predators to grasp. The unpleasant taste of the mucus is also a deterrent.
4. Unlike snails, slugs don’t have shell. Their entire body is one strong, muscular foot covered in slime that facilitates movement on the ground and prevents injuries. Slugs can safely move across rocks and other sharp objects including blade of a razor.
5. Slug has only one lung. It is connected with atmosphere by tiny opening on the right side of the body. Besides via lung, slug can breathe via skin.
6. Slugs contain both male and female reproductive organs (they are hermaphrodites). Even though they can produce offspring on their own, they prefer to find partners and to exchange packages of sperm.
7. The great majority of slug species are harmless to humans and to their interests, but a small number of species are serious pests of agriculture and horticulture. They can destroy foliage faster than plants can grow, thus killing even fairly large plants.
They also feed on fruits and vegetables prior to harvest, making holes in the crop, which can make individual items unsuitable to sell for aesthetic reasons, and can make the crop more vulnerable to rot and disease.
8. Slugs can feed on a wide variety of vegetables and herbs, including flowers such as petunias, daisies, chrysanthemums, lobelia, daffodils, lilies, narcissus, primroses, gentians, tuberous begonias, irises, hollyhocks, and fruits such as strawberries. They also feed on peas, carrots, cabbage, and apples that are offered as a sole food source.

Leave a Reply, No Login Necessary.