Snail (Great Pond)
The Great Pond Snail is the largest water snail in England and can be found throughout the country in ponds, lakes and canals with slow-flowing waters. This snail deliberately eats grains of sand which stay in its ‘gizzard’. The gizzard is the part of a stomach that grinds up food. The sand in the gizzard helps the Great Pond Snail to eat and digest tougher plant material.
The Great Pond Snail has a large cone-shaped shell on its back which can be brown, yellow-brown or grey in colour with lighter and darker line markings. The shell can be as long as seven centimetres. The soft body under the shell is a yellow-grey or a brown-orange colour. Its head is large with two tentacle-looking organs. It also has a large slimy muscular foot that helps the snail to move along surfaces. It often leaves a trail of slime wherever it goes.
The Great Pond Snail can often be seen floating upside down on the surface of the water taking in air because the opening for its lungs is on the underside. It usually eats algae and plant matter by using a tongue-like organ that has horny teeth on the surface. It also eats decaying organic matter and even small Great Pond Snails.