Hunchbacked conchs jump at the smell of danger | Science News



Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.

It's Alive

Hunchbacked conchs jump at the smell of danger

10:00am, November 3, 2015
hunchbacked conchs

WHEN CONCHS GET SCARED  Among jumping snails, hunchbacked conchs are some of the most vigorous.

View the video

A whiff of danger makes hunchbacked conchs so jumpy they actually jump.

“A very peculiar movement for a snail,” says Sjannie Lefevre of the University of Oslo in Norway.

Admittedly, the motion of Gibberulus gibberulus gibbosus is less boing-boing and more kerflop-kerflop. But each push-off can send the small, striped conchs in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef several centimeters above the sea bottom and almost a body length (3 or 4 centimeters) forward. They can keep at it too, jumping as many as 100 times in three to five minutes.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content