S. Lefevre/Univ. of Oslo
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.