10 May 2013

TMN* | Giant Snails Invade Texas

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A Houston woman discovered a giant African land snail in her garden—a slimy horror of a creature that is as disgusting as it is deadly. Jokes about killer snails aside, the reason the snails can be lethal to humans is that one of the snails' favorite foods is rat feces, and one of the things you find in rat feces is a form of meningitis called "rat lungworm." So, if you are someone like local resident Jack Fendrick,who told local news KPRC, "I think most people, kids especially, will see a big snail and want to touch it," don't do that!

Autumn Smith-Herron, director of the Institute for the Study of Invasive Species at Sam Houston State University, is worried that too many Houston residents will find the 8-inch gastropods irresistable. "Unfortunately, humans are picking the snails up," she told KPRC. "They carry a parasitic disease that can cause a lot of harm to humans and sometimes even death. ... Perhaps just as disconcerting ... is that they're an invasive species, meaning they are ecological threats."
*Too Much Nature

Atlantic Wire

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