Are snails born with their shells?

13th January 2011
Are snails born with their shells? (Getty)

Asked by: Katy Williams, Burntwood

Yes, although the shell is transparent and soft to begin with. Snails need calcium to harden their shells and the first thing a newly hatched snail does is to eat the casing of its own egg to absorb calcium. Some snails will also cannibalise the shells of their unhatched siblings. Over the next three months, the shell gets thicker and acquires the full adult colouration.


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