"What's for dinner?"


As discussed on the Habitat page, calcium is a vital part of the diet for snails, and they often intake this by ingesting soil particles or from scraping rocks.  Any calcium dissolved in water can be absorbed through their skin or by them drinking it as well.

Vertigo morsei appears to be a general herbivore and will scratch off about any kind of algae, fungi, and sometimes decaying matter for its nutritional needs.  They aren't picky when it comes to what kind of plant material to eat.  (Vertigo morsei Sterki 2009)

Vertigo morsei utilizes an organ called a radula, which is specialized for feeding to obtain food particles.  The radula is a "rasping tongue."  This structure is found in all molluscs, and the Six-whorl Vertigo has the ability to retract it at any time.  The membrane has many chitonous teeth attached to it that face backwards.  Some molluscs can have 250,000 of these tiny teeth.  The radula probably assists in bringing a continuous flow of food into the body. (Hickman, et al. 2009)


Terrestrial snails have well developed internal structures, and their whole digestive system is quite complex.  Food material is transported through the tract, and nutrients are taken in when the digestive glands break down the substances.  Excretion is aided by a nephridium, a specialized tubule that can be related to a kidney.

Most molluscs have an open circulatory system consisting of a heart, blood vessels, and blood sinuses.  The blood isn't all within the blood vessels but rather bathes the tissues in some parts of the body and resides in vessels in others.  This system is less efficient at getting oxygen to all portions of the snail, so open circulation is seen only in slow-moving animals.  (Hickman, et al. 2009)    

Next is Reproduction!