A Japanese researcher discovered that snails can cut off their own tail to escape predators, much like lizards do. The discovery was published in the British science journal Proceedings of the Royal Society.
Besides lizards, it was known that other creatures like earthworms or crabs are also able to dispose of parts of their bodies in emergency situations, but it is the first time in the world when such behavior is confirmed in snails.
The observation was made on snails in Okinawa Prefecture, said Masaki Hoso, the researcher who published the study. A fellow with the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Hoso said that this kind of defensive behavior is not seen in areas with no snake population.
“It is believed that this was a special case of adaptation evolving from the need to counter snakes,” the researcher said, quoted by Kyodo.