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Bold snails have thicker shells

Johan Ahlgren his colleagues have classified fresh water living snails as bold or shy by tapping at their shells. By scanning the snails he found that the bold snails had thicker and rounder shells. This kind of shells is more resistant than the narrower and thinner shells of the shy snails.
A fresh water snail Radix balthica.
Photo: James Lindsey at Ecology of Commanster / CC-BY-2.5 & CC-BY-SA-3.0

A thick shell gives a protection against predators but it takes more energy to build. Therefore the snails with thicker shells have to be bold and find more food. A thin shell does not require that much energy, but it is easier to break for predators. Thus, the snails’ personality will compensate for their physical limitations.

The article is published in Biology Letters 11:4

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