First off, I don't know why snails have antennas. Are they eyes? And what if we cut those antennae off? If they are like eyes, could a blind snail survive somehow?

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    $\begingroup$ And by the way: how unethical would it be to find it by myself? $\endgroup$
    – user46147
    Mar 20 '16 at 22:13
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    $\begingroup$ Super unethical. If you were obeying the three Rs you would realise that these animal experiments could be easily replaced by reading about snails. If you don't know what you're doing from a practical point of view and are not being careful to act scientifically (recording logs, testing against reasonable hypotheses, and following the three Rs) animal "experimentation" could be seen as nothing more than deliberately torturing animals without any real goal. $\endgroup$
    – James
    Mar 21 '16 at 8:52
  • $\begingroup$ @James Thanks! Very Valuable comment, since I have no background in biology at all! I didn't even heard about 3Rs. And your answer is magnificent :) $\endgroup$
    – user46147
    Mar 21 '16 at 22:21
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not an animal scientist so I don't have deep insight, but I know animal scientists in my institute. There is a related meta that you might find interesting. The snail answer isn't mine, it's @JordiZambrino's! I agree, it is a very good answer. $\endgroup$
    – James
    Mar 22 '16 at 2:46
  • $\begingroup$ If this answer addressed your problem, please consider accepting it by clicking on the check mark/tick to the left of the answer, turning it green. This marks the question as resolved to your satisfaction, and awards reputation both to you and the person who answered. $\endgroup$
    – Ebbinghaus
    Jun 9 '16 at 6:17

It really depends on which type of gastropod you are talking about, since different types of snails, have different types of eyes.

Marine gastropods could only become more mobile, when their abilities of sight had improved. This happened, when the eye cup deepened and the visual opening narrowed. An effect was the result, which in historical time was used by the so-called pinhole camera: A picture of sufficient sharpness can be displayed by reducing the camera's aperture to the size of a pinhole. The smaller the aperture, the sharper the picture. But because there is only a small amount of light falling through the pinhole, the image will be quite dark. Besides, the displayed area of the image is very limited.

Pinhole eye of an ormerA Roman snail's simple lens eye A limpet's cup shaped eye.

From left to right: Pinhole eye of an ormer, A Roman snail's simple lens eye, A limpet's cup shaped eye

Could a blind snail survive?

There are even some types of gastropods which are naturally born blind such as:

Cecilioides acicula, common name the "blind snail" or "blind awlsnail", is a species of very small, air-breathing land snail, a pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Ferussaciidae.

Descriptive features:

This animal is white, there are two pairs of tentacles, but eyes are lacking. 4 The shell is long and narrow, up to a maximum of 5.5 mm and a width of 1.2 mm.5 The shell is colorless, glassy and transparent when it is fresh, a somewhat opaque milky-white when it is not fresh.

Snails which are visually impaired are not limited in their ability to move, however, and can easily navigate their habitats through their sense of touch and smell.

Cecilioides acicula

Regarding the ethics of your "investigation", I'd recommend to just not do it.



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