Natural History Note - A Snail's Pace

Two snails found in the Lower Otter Creek wetlands. One Planorbidae and one Physidae. Photo by Mike Winslow

What animal is more humble than a snail? They are the epitome of slowness. The dull-colored shells are easily overlooked within the lake and rarely studied, but snails are a source of food for 20% of freshwater fish species including sunfish and perch. There are approximately 650 species of freshwater snails in North America inhabiting environs from the Arctic Circle to the Everglades, including our own Lake Champlain.