Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Snail Sex  |  Deep Look
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Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Snail Sex | Deep Look

October 23, 2019

No surprise that in love, garden snails like
to take it slow. But this isn’t some basic boy-meets-girl
story. Snails are hermaphrodites. They have both boy and girl parts. You might think that makes life simpler. But not… so… fast. Snails are deaf and basically blind. Their eyes really only see shadows. So snails rely on taste and smell to find
a partner. They just follow the slime. Gliding along, until… Bada-BOOM. They get pretty cozy… touching, tasting,
smelling, for hours… But these snails are about to have a battle
of the sexes. Even though they’re both both sexes. The first shot is a secret love dart. Before the real action starts, they stab each
other with these tiny spears that are normally hidden inside their bodies. Different species have different shaped darts. There it is. The dart delivers hormones that will stimulate
it to accept sperm. It’s made of calcium carbonate, the same
as the snail’s shell…hard and sharp, like a needle. Things really heat up from there. That thing is called the everted atrium. It’s like a rubber glove slowly turning
inside out…until… Yep, that’s exactly what you think it is. Once they get lined up, the snails swap sperm. You take some of mine, I take some of yours. But this battle isn’t over. The snails’ bodies go on the attack, killing
most of the other snail’s sperm before they get to the eggs. See, whether you’re one sex—or both—fatherhood
is easy. It’s the cheapest way to produce offspring. Motherhood, that’s hard work. So both snails want to be more father than
they are mother. That’s where the love dart comes in. Its hormones help protect the sperm, so more
of them survive in the other snail’s body. The snail that fires the best shot has the
edge in passing on his…her….their genes. In about two weeks… the snails lay eggs
underground. Those are the baby snails moving around inside. They hatch and eat what’s left of their
egg. Before heading out into the world. Very slowly, of course. Hey guys, It’s Lauren. Thanks for watching this Deep Look! Now, our partner PBS Digital Studios wants
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Only registered users can comment.

  1. The top tentacles are their eyes and their bottom tentacles are their sense of smell. This is misinformation. I have 26 pet snails.

  2. …Obviously, if you like biology you first need to accept that what you consider disgusting is a human thing. When you love it, it's all fascinating. :o)

  3. Toching
    Snail:mmm got a juicy one
    Snail:got a slimey favor
    Snail:smells like old mold up socks now let me stab you

  4. “Touching, smelling, tasting, for HOURS.”
    Okay boo, I see you and I feel you. All the best of luck in the love world dear. ???

  5. Deep look, nice presentation, explanation, something that kids will understand nature with simple but a 'deep look'

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