Vertigo nylanderi


Like other members of its genus, Vertigo nylanderi feeds on micro-fungi growing on decaying organic material. All gastropods have developed a radula and many use it to scrape nutrients like fungi and algae off of substrates. Upon digestion, the nutrients from the fungi are distributed throughout the body via an open-circulatory system. So instead of the blood being kept within blood vessels, the muscles are bathed in a fluid known as hemolymph that carries the oxygen. This is not a very efficient means of transporting oxygen though, which is one of the reasons snails move so slowly.

During development, gastropods undergo torsion, or 180 degree rotation of their body, in order to fully withdraw into their shell. As a result, their anus lies above the gills, creating a possibility of waste products being taken back into the body (fouling). However, the process of torsion renders the organs on the rights side of the body useless because of the way nerves get twisted. This makes it possible to avoid fouling by having the anus and nephridiopore (opening to release wastes) nearer to the right side. Thus, water flows into the left side and the waste products are excreted out the right side.