I took a picture of a snail whose tracks are not continuous. What is the reason? Does the snail lift itself from the ground during its motion?

snail tracks

  • $\begingroup$ something to do with a rythmic organ contraction? $\endgroup$ Mar 15, 2018 at 16:38

1 Answer 1


During particularly dry weather some snails will only touch the ground with part of their "foot" at once. In effect moving more like a desert snake in the image below. They do this to reduce moisture loss. Even though it is still a continuous motion it leaves a discontinuous trail. the same number of these points of contact are present the entire time at no point does it leave contact, think of it more like high stepping. This behavior is sometimes called "jumping" even though it has nothing to do with actual jumping.

enter image description here


  • $\begingroup$ thanks, do you know of any videos showing these different types of motion? $\endgroup$
    – eyal
    Mar 18, 2018 at 16:02
  • $\begingroup$ sorry no I don't $\endgroup$
    – John
    Mar 19, 2018 at 14:26

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