Question Sheet: Slip Sliming Away


Before reading:

  1. Why do some people think slugs are gross? Do you agree with them? Why or why


  2. Come up with eight descriptive words for how animals can feel (such as

    furry, scaly, etc).

During reading:

  1. Why are businesses interested in robotic slugs? 
  2. How are slugs and snails similar? How are they different? 
  3. What is the “dark band” that you might see moving along the bottom of a

    slug’ s body? 

  4. What is slug slime made of? 
  5. What causes slug slime to change from a solid to a liquid? 
  6. What material do scientists use for their robotic slug’ s slime?

After reading:

  1. Draw a vertical line down the middle of a piece of paper. On one side, write

    down all of the things that robotic slugs and real slugs have in common. On the

    other side, describe their differences. 

  2. Do you think robotic slugs should be small like real slugs? Why or why not? 
  3. What types of surfaces are hardest for you to walk on? What kind of

    strategies do people use for walking on slippery surfaces? 

  4. People kill slugs by putting salt on them. Based on the ideas in this

    article, does that make sense? (Hint: Salt pulls water out of a slug’ s body). 

  5. What is the purpose of mucus in humans? See: 
  6. What are the similarities and differences between human snot and slug slime?


  1. Research banana slugs. Where do they live? What kind of environments do they

    like? Go to (Wikipedia) and Park). 

  2. Slime-producing slugs live on land, but there are also slugs that live

    underwater. Learn about sea slugs, also called nudibranchs. How are they similar

    and different from land slugs? See (Wikipedia),

    (OceanLink), and Museum). 

  3. Where in the world do sea slugs live?


  1. In your backyard, at a zoo, or on the Internet, try to observe a slug’s

    movements. Write a ten-line poem describing the motion in the most poetic way


  2. Write a persuasive letter to a friend explaining why slugs are not gross.


There are about 35,000 species of slugs in the world. If scientists discovered 100 more species this year, 101 more species the next year, 102 more the year after that, and so on, for the next 30 years, how many species of slugs would there be 10 years from now?