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One small step for a snail, one giant leap for snailkind

Gastropods shed shells in single shot

By
4:35pm, October 8, 2010

Evolution doesn’t have to operate at a snail’s pace, even for snails. In experiments designed to simulate the evolutionary transition that produced slugs, researchers exposed baby snails to the metal platinum, causing the animals to develop without external shells. The research illustrates how a big leap on the evolutionary path of animal body plans might have occurred. It also reopens a can of worms concerning the development and evolution of an entire class of shelled creatures.
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