Snails Survive Bird Digestion
We all know that some seeds consumed by birds survive the digestion process. New research proves some snails do too.
Shinchiro Wada of Tohoku University said:
Biogeography of wingless terrestrial invertebrates, in particular snails, is often faced with mysterious long distance dispersal patterns…
Wada explains the results:
We were surprised that a high rate, about 15 percent, of snails were still alive after passing through the gut of [the] birds.
This explains what is happening on the island of Hajima which is south of Tokyo in the Bonin archipelago. The surviving snails take advantage of this experience in order to take up residence on different parts of the island that they could never reach without the birds.
These particular snails are very small, just a tenth of an inch or 2.5mm. There small size allows the birds to swallow them hole which helps the snail to survive.
Wada said further testing needs to be done to see if any other adaptations allow them to survive.