WATCH: Meet the one in a million snail looking for love!

Video: Notts TV’s Richard Minkley meets Jeremy, the snail looking for love

Scientists are asking members of the public for help in finding a rare garden snail a mate for love.

The University of Nottingham have discovered an ultra-rare, one in a million mollusc with its unique qualities meaning it cannot mate with common species.

This snail, named Jeremy, is different to other Nottingham garden snails because its shell spirals in an anti-clockwise direction; common species of snails have shells that spiral down in a clockwise direction.

Jeremy’s genitals are also on the opposite side to common snails which is why he cannot mate with them.

The scientists are also hoping to study its genetics to find out why it is so different.

I have been studying snails for more than 20 years and have never seen this

University of Nottingham’s Dr Angus Davison said: “I have been studying snails for more than 20 years and I have never seen one of these before.

“We are very keen to study the snail’s genetics to find out whether this is a result of a developmental glitch or whether this is a genuine inherited genetic trait.

“Snails are hermaphrodites meaning that if they want to they can reproduce on their own without the need for another mate.

“However, they don’t really like doing this and from our perspective, the genetic data from offspring of two lefty snails would be far richer and more valuable to us.”

Now the hunt is on to find a second snail to mate with Jeremy to develop the scientists’ research.

Dr Davison said: “This is something everyone can get involved with and which you can easily do on your own doorstep.

“It is an example of citizen science at its best.

“There is a chance, because it is such a rare thing, that anyone who can find and identify another one of these snails may even find themselves named as a contributor on a research paper we publish in the future.”

Jeremy was originally found around a compost heap in Rayne’s Park, South West London by a retired scientist from the Natural History Museum who then sent the snail to Dr Davison.

Earlier in the year, Dr Davison and colleagues at universities in Edinburgh, Germany and the US revealed they had discovered a gene that determines whether a snail’s shell twists in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction.

This same gene is found in other animals, including animals, and scientists at University of Nottingham want to find out how organs are placed in the body and why this can sometimes go wrong when some or all of the major internal organs are reversed.


(Visited 61 times, 1 visits today)