A snail can sleep for 3 straight years!! Would you believe that? How can a creature sleep for three years? It’s ironic, isn’t it?
Well, you believe it or not, snails have that unique ability to sleep for hours and hours without any break. And when they woke up. They can go up to 30 hours without sleep.
The most fascinating thing about them is that they don’t give a damn about our 24-hour cycle and circadian rhythm.
And not only snails, so many other animals have this unique ability to survive on their own, without following the rules of nature.
How long do snails sleep?
Snails belong to the class gastropod, generally known as hermaphrodites. They can be very small in size, while the larger one can go up to few feet. Snails can be found on muddy and wet places where a larger amount of water and moisture is available.
They can only survive in moisture. So you will often see snails coming out of their shells after rain. The biggest threat for them is salt because they cannot survive in salty areas.
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According to research, the snails have a unique sleeping pattern, they don’t follow the regular 24 hours sleeping pattern. Instead, they a 2-3 day sleeping pattern in which they make experience seven sleep periods, and among them, the biggest periods is 13-15 hours. And after completing that cycle the period of alertness start, which goes on to 30 hours straight.
Difference between humans, snails, and other animals sleep.
All the humans and most of the animals which belong to the class mammalian follows the normal sleeping cycle of 24 hours. Sunlight influence the circadian rhythm and all humans and most of the animals sleep according to that.
But, there are some other species of animals that do not follow this 24-hour cycle and their sleeping pattern goes well beyond 24 hours.
And among animals, some species have unique sleeping habits like birds can and some other animals can sleep as well as fly and do other stuff at the same time. One part of their brain is sleeping and the other is working.
And when it comes to snails they have this unique ability to sleep for 3-4 days and then awaking for next 1-2 days. And when the conditions are not favorable for them, they can hibernate for years.
Hibernation and estivation in snails.
As we mention at the start, they can sleep up to three years. They can do this during hibernation. As we already know that snails require moisture and wet condition to survive. So, when the environment is harsh and suitable for their life, snails goes into hibernation until the atmosphere become suitable for them.
While in hibernation they still require moisture. So, when they go into their shell their body produces some mucus by the process called estivation. And through this, their body remains moist.
A fun fact about snails.
Snails are hermaphrodite, means they have both male and female sex organ on their body, and they can reproduce on their own.
Now, the interesting thing about snails is that they fight on who will become male and who will become female. Means who will donate sperms, and who will donate eggs. The one who wins the fight usually donates sperms.