Snails are not insects. They belong to a group of animals called mollusks. This means they have soft bodies with no bones, protected by a shell. They are also gastropods, because their bodies consist of one large, muscular foot.
Snails live all over the world, on land and in the water. In fact, snails live both in oceans and in freshwater. Snails have protective shells into which they tuck their entire bodies when frightened. Their shells are spiral shaped; these may be nearly circular, as in our example, or cone shaped. Slugs are similar to snails, but they lack the characteristic shell.
Snails are generally small, most less than one inch in length. One type of snail that lives inside sea cucumbers, however, can reach 50 inches in length. Giant African land snails, which are 15 inches in length, can weigh up to two pounds. One such snail was owned as a pet by one of the researchers who discovered it.
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Snail shells can be used in jewelry making, and others secrete a purple dye. Some species of snails are eaten by humans. These include the famous French dish escargot, as well as the conch, a type of sea snail, in tropical regions. Today, excretions from helix snails are used in skin creams and in cosmetics.
Symbolically, the snail’s slow movement has been used to represent laziness. They also have religious connotations. For example, snails are said to have crawled onto the head of the Buddha while he was meditating to shade him from the sun. The Greek poet Hesiod wrote of snails used in divination, or foretelling the future, and one Aztec moon god wore a snail shell on his back.
Would you like to draw a slimy snail? This easy, step-by-step snail drawing tutorial is here to help. All you will need is a pencil, pen, or marker and a sheet of paper. You may also wish to use crayons, colored pencils, or markers to shade your finished drawing.
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Step by Step Drawing Instructions for Drawing a Snail
1. Begin by drawing a long, squiggly line. Double the line back upon itself. This will form the snail’s head.
Step 2. Enclose the snail’s head using a curved line, wrapping it into a “C” shape on each end. Then, enclose a nearly round shape using a long, curved line. This forms the snail’s protective shell.
3. Draw a long, spiral line within the snail’s shell.
4. Use two curved lines to enclose a curved, triangular shape at the back of the shell. This forms the snail’s tail.
5. Draw a pair of short, curved, parallel lines extending upward from the snail’s head. This forms one of the snail’s eye stalks, which support the eye itself.
6. Extend a second set of short, curved, parallel lines upward from the head. This forms another eye stalk.
7. Draw a circle at the top of one of the eye stalks, forming the eye.
8. Draw a circle at the top of the remaining eye stalk, forming the second eye.
9. Draw a smaller circle within each eye, and an even smaller circle within it. Shade between the innermost circles, indicating the pupil of the eye. Then, draw a wide “U” shaped line across the face, forming a smiling mouth.
Color your snail. Common colors for garden snails include brown, black, and green. Others may be yellow, red, pink, orange, or white, and many have stripes or spiral patterns on their shells.
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