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Old 01-08-2008, 01:51 AM   #1
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Apple snails skim-feeding

You'll have to forgive my continuing fascination with these critters.

I read on an apple snail forum about a feeding strategy that some snails use called skim feeding. The snail climbs to the water surface and forms a saucer-shaped structure with its foot that acts as a skimmer. The snail pumps water into the saucer, drawing nearby floating food particles within the mouth's reach.

This is the first time I observed this behavior in my snails. Obviously, they are no longer content to settle for algae wafers and whatever flake food happens to make its way to the bottom- they want the big choice flakes that the fish always get to first!

The first pic is taken from above. You can see the ring of surface tension around the saucer's edge and a morsel of food being drawn into it.
The second pic is taken from the side. The snail uses the rear half of the foot to anchor itself to the glass and the front half to form the saucer.
Third and fourth pics are taken from above. The snail traps and gulps down a big piece of flake. Yum!
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Old 01-08-2008, 01:58 AM   #2
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Excellent pics!
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Old 01-08-2008, 02:39 AM   #3
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Cool. I've tried to target feed my snail that was climbing up the glass. I hit him with a sinking shrimp pellet, which happened to balance on him. He moved around it and started eating, much like in your picture, but against the glass instead of the surface.
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Old 01-08-2008, 09:23 AM   #4
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Great photos--they really are very interesting critters! I look forward to being able to set up a dedicated snail tank again; they're a lot of fun.
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Old 01-19-2008, 08:00 PM   #5
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Cool. We have lots of apple snails and never knew that they could do that. Interesting!
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:16 AM   #6
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That`s very interesting. Great shots.
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