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Thursday, March 19, 2009

The mass of Europeans go onto their knees

I've enjoyed watching Jimmy Doherty on the Beeb, not showing us his prize and beloved pork & bacons on short legs, but copying Darwin experiments in the garden of Down House and in the fields behind Darwin's former home.

At the end of the program, Jimmy shows us the shells of Banded Snails, broken on the 'stone anvil' used by a Song Thrush.

Banded snails' shells, range from brown to pink to yellow and other beautiful colours, which would protect the snail within its habitat.

The expert told us that in the 1920s a survey showed that certain coloured bands were being found in different parts of the country.
So now you too can go down to the ground and look for Snails. And if you happen to find any Banded Snail, you are asked to go onto the Internet and tell of your find, its coluor and where you found it.

I had assumed that this wesite, which is joined by the Open University and the British Cuoncil, the Evolution MegaLab, was an all British affair, so imagine my surprise that it is indeed Mega with various European countries, like Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain taking part.

I just wish they would not use light blue text on white background. Who would ever think that was a good contrast for the majority of the users?

And if you are wondering which snails are the ones you need to look for, well, here's their ID guide.
This last page also tells you how and where to hunt.
You can also find a forum on the megalab, for when you want to utter more about more..

I'm indeed very curious to hear the result of the survey. Will the population of Snails have increased now that we have less Song Thrush around us?
Corvids of course eat Snails also, but on a much scale perhaps? And what about Blackbirds?
(well, those are muy thoughts, not those of the Megalab, I'd think.)

Still, as I said in the title, with several countries taking part (I need to check with Paul of or Nature's calendar, Ireland, if Eire is taking part also) I really had this vision of people on their knees, turning over Snail broken shells all over Europe.
(you see it too? Good.) well who knows. You'll need a superior scope though. I doubt my little bins will do the job, LOL1

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