Most of the snails I saw on our trip were in the tide pools. But the first day, I also saw some on the beach.
My first impulse was to go around picking them all up and putting them back in the water. I was thinking of it, in the same way, that I would move a snapping turtle off the road in the direction they were heading. I moved one snail a little closer to the water, but of course, there is no traffic on the beach and the snails have survived for a very long time without my help.
Seeing the snails out of the water for so long helped me to better understand how the snails we have in our fish tank can survive out of the water for limited amounts of time. And why they would need to.
There were a few snail trails in the sand and some that seemed to go in circles like the ones in the photo above. It made me wonder if the snail bury themselves in the sand. When I looked into it I found out that’s just what they do. They burrow in the sand by inflating their “foot” to hide from predators.
I like to think the snails wait under the sand for high tide to return them to the ocean. I watched a few of the snails making trails through the sand and it was really slow going. It also makes me wonder how they know which direction to go.
Below is a time-lapse video of a snail making a trail back to the ocean.