It would take the garden snail more than a thousand hours to travel a single kilometre (0.6 miles)
The garden snail Cornu aspersum is recorded as the fastest snail on land, reaching speeds of one metre (3.3 feet) per hour. This was recorded in a study of 450 garden snails conducted by researchers at the University of Exeter. They were able to trace the snails’ slithers using LED lights and UV paint, creating eery, slimy portraits of a night’s activity. As peaceful vegetarians there’s no need for a snail to rush around, and they mostly spend their time seeking out areas of shelter, such as in long grass or under trees.
Though the garden snail wins the race, there are carnivorous snails below the ocean’s surface that can move parts of their body at unbelievable speeds. Cone snails possess deadly venom that is stored inside a harpoon. This poison-filled needle is launched in a fraction of a millisecond and kills prey instantly, allowing the slow-moving cone snail to eat its kill. If the toxin acted more slowly the fish would perish too far away for the snail to reach it, meaning its dose of venom would have been wasted.
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