Patera pennsylvanica



Yet again, because no information is available for this species pertaining to its nutritional needs we will focus on the nutrition of terrestrial snails, as a whole.

Diets among terrestrial snails vary rather widely (Hotopp and Pearce 2006).  They use their radula to eat on the move, evaluating what is taken up as it slowly moves along (Hotopp and Pearce 2006).   Terrestrial snails eat anything from rotten wood, algae, sap, herbaceous plants to animal carcasses, and the species which are carnivorous will eat other snails as well as nematodes (Hotopp and Pearce 2006).

Land snails spend a disproportionate amount of time crawling around and attempting to find food (Hotopp and Pearce 2006).  There are few predatory land snail species.  Terrestrial snail species tend to be omnivorous or herbivorous (Hotopp and Pearce 2006).  Snails have a specialized tongue-like organ called a radula used for obtaining food (Nordsieck 2011).  The radula is equipped with teeth made of a material called chitin (Hickman et al 2012), and these teeth, which feel like sandpaper, help to scrape up food particles into the mouth (Hotopp and Pearce 2006).  Once the particles are lapped up by the radula they enter the esophagus on the way to the gastric pouch, where the digestive gland assists in digestion and excretion (Hotopp and Pearce 2006). 

Terrestrial snails have an open circulatory system consisting of blood vessels and sinuses and a heart (Hickman et al 2012).  Because this is an inefficient way to disperse oxygen throughout the body, snails, like other animals with an open circulatory system tend to be slower (Hickman et al 2012).

Some terrestrial snail species are intermediate hosts to different parasites (Hotopp and Pearce 2006), though our species does not seem to be one of them.




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