Snailzilla: Giant African Snail

Snailzilla: Giant African Snail
giant african snail, Achatina achatina image credit: peterUK
giant african snail, Achatina achatinaimage credit: snuzzy.com
giant african snail, Achatina achatinaimage credit: nevetsnosdog

giant african snail, Achatina achatinaimage credit: blackcat478

giant african snail, Achatina achatinaimage credit: C. Rayz 

giant african snail, Achatina achatinaimage credit: Mistifarang – Primero UniCo de l’Escala!
Habitat: native to West Africa
Status: no conservation concerns
 

Some kids want puppies for their birthdays, others want cats. A few ask for birds and then there are those that deviate completely from the norm… enter the Giant African Snail.This particular species is the Giant Ghana Snail. The shells of these creatures often reach a length of 18 cm with a diameter of 9 cm, however there have been some Giant Ghana Snails observed in the wild at 30×15 cm, making them the largest extant land snail species known.

The Giant Ghana Snail has yet to be found outside of Africa in the wild, but there is a significant threat of it becoming quite a pest problem in the U.S. In America, the creature is routinely confiscated by Quarantine Authorities at US airports because it has become quite the popular pet these days with owners priding themselves on how large the snails can grow in captivity.

The problem is these huge creatures can lay up to twelve hundred eggs per year, making its huge size and large population a major concern for our natural ecosystems.

And speaking of, here’s a video of someone’s pet Giant African Land Snail eating a leaf. It’s an albino, so if you look closely you can even see its muscles and things moving in its head while he chops away!