For basic information about snails, visit: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snails(Wikipedia).
For basic information about slugs, visit: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slug(Wikipedia).
To learn more about MIT mechanical engineer Annete Hosoi’s work, see: www.scripts.mit.edu/~pekowiki/blaise/index.php(PekoWiki).
For an extensive collection of information about snails and slugs, compiled by a non-scientist fan of the animals, check out: members.tripod.com/arnobrosi/snail.htm (Arno Brosi).
Books recommended by SearchIt!Science:
Snails and Slugs (Nature Close-Up)— Elaine Pascoe
Published by Blackbirch Press/Gale Group, 1999.
If you mention slugs, many people think of slime. But there is a lot more to these interesting creatures. This book helps you to investigate slugs and their close relatives, snails. First of all, it tells you how they eat, move, and most importantly, just exactly what the deal is with all that slime! Then, it tells you some surprising facts. For instance, did you know that some slugs can be more than a foot long, and that some snails are poisonous? Once you know what slugs and snails need to survive, you’re ready to go out and find some of your own. This book tells you how to find, collect, and care for these slimy beasts, and then suggests some interesting activities you can do to find out more about them. Experiments focus on: What do they prefer to eat? Do they prefer light or dark? You can compare your conclusions to those of scientists who also study these creatures. This book has lots of close-up, full-color photographs and an index.
A Slug’s Life (Nature Upclose)— John Himmelman
Published by Children’s Press/Scholastic, 1998.
In this book you can learn about the action packed adventures of these not-so-fast creatures. Follow a slug’s life through the year, from dangerous run-ins with toads to the search for a mate. The book features large color illustrations that take you up close and personal with the slugs. An index is included.
One Small Square: Backyard— Donald M. Silver
Published by McGraw-Hill, 1997.
“Creepers and crawlers, lifters and leapers, movers and mixers.” Discover all kinds of creatures when you explore just one small square of your backyard. Start with a magnifying glass, a collecting jar, a shovel, a notebook, and a pencil. Use your powers of observation to find out what’s going on above and below the soil. You may see a hummingbird, a butterfly, or a bee use a flower petal as a landing strip. You might be able to trace the life cycles of a grasshopper or a ladybug. You’ll find out how mushrooms and dandelions grow. Each page includes full-color illustrations and cutaway diagrams. Sidebars show you how to record your findings and explore what you find. Leaf rubbings, growing mold, and making animal track casts are just some of the hands-on activities suggested. An illustrated index, a glossary, and a bibliography are included. The book concludes with a map showing where the plants and animals described can be found.
contraction The shortening and thickening of a muscle in action. Muscles contract to produce movement. Contraction of the biceps of the arm causes the elbow to bend.
locomotion The ability of an animal to move from place to place.
mucus A thick, slippery substance that covers and protects part of the body, such as the inside of the mouth and nose.
secrete To give off or release a substance, such as saliva, that is produced by a gland or organ in the body.
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