Post by Robert Nordsieck on Mar 23, 2006 21:37:01 GMT
in German we call a sinistral Helix pomatia a snail king, because it is so rare. Is there any expression in English for that phenomenon, except to call the snail a sinistral one?
There are several homepages on the subject, including one of mine (though, alas, so far only in German), but if you are interested you should certainly look at this page from the Jacksonville Shell Club in Florida: Reverse Coiled Gastropods.
Post by Robert Nordsieck on Mar 25, 2006 23:16:35 GMT
The sinistral Helix pomatia may become pretty famous. There has been an article in a local newspaper about a sinistral Helix found by a biologist (of all people) in a children's playground in Vienna, and I know of a living sinistral Helix pomatia of Peter Leonhardt, that found it's way into a broadcast of the VOX channel in Germany.
Mr Leonhardt, besides, rightly points out, that the reversal of shell coiling in snails ressembles strongly an illness, that can be found in humans, where all organs are on the wrong side of the body.
Besides there are land snail families, that are exclusively dextral (Helicidae), others, that are exclusively sinistral (most (!) Clausiliidae) and finally some that have sinistral and dextral species. But in general, among one species, shell coiling will be almost exclusively to one side.
Except, of course, those rare specimens, which, in Helix pomatia, I think, make one twenty thousandth of all. Which is why in German we call them snail kings (see some postings ago).