According to Matt Davies Harmony Communities, there are tens of thousands of snail species worldwide. Their appearance, size, and characteristics differ quite a bit from freshwater and sea snails to land snails. Let’s check out some of the largest snail species in the world.
- Australian Trumpet – With a reputation for crazy, unique, and diverse wildlife, it’s no surprise that the largest snail in the world comes from Australia. The Australian Trumpet is a huge sea snail that’s native to the waters around Northern Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Eastern Indonesia. These giants can grow up to 3 feet long and can weigh as much as 40 pounds. Their diet usually consists of marine worms. Unfortunately, they are often hunted by humans for their shells and as food.
- Florida Horse Conch – The second largest snail in the world also comes from the sea and can grow up to 2 feet long. It’s found along the Atlantic Coast of the US and prefers to live in mud and sand flats of shallow waters along the coastline. They are predators of smaller snails and can also munch on hermit crabs. Their shell is unique with several whorls on the surface. The young snails have a distinct orange color to their shell that fades as they get older.
- Giant Triton – The Giant Triton is another sea snail that can grow up to a length of 20 inches. They are also referred to as Triton’s Trumpet since their shell can be used to make the trumpet sound. They are native to the Indo-Pacific region and are crucial to the health of coral reefs. Furthermore, they are the natural predators of the highly poisonous Crown-of-Thorn Starfish that feed on reefs. Without these snails, coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific would receive a swift death even without the help of ocean acidification caused by climate change.
- Giant Whelk – Another sea snail that can grow a shell as long as 10 inches and is found in the waters around Tasmania and Australia. Their diet usually consists of worms, crustaceans, and other smaller snails. Their shells have a beautiful orange-brown or fawn hue and are full of distinctive bands and whorls on the surface.
- Giant African Land Snail – While most of the giant snails in the world belong to the sea, the Giant African Land Snail manages to claim the fifth spot and preserve a position for the land dwellers. These snails can grow up to 8 inches in length. While they were native to East Africa, now they can be found throughout the world except for Antarctica. They are considered pests since they reproduce rapidly, can wreak havoc on local plants, and spread all kinds of diseases. They even carry a parasite that can cause meningitis in humans.
Matt Davies Harmony Communities suggests that you learn more about these snail species if you’re interested in them. It’s interesting to see how geography, local climate, diet, and biodiversity influence the size of snails worldwide. Some can fit on your pinky finger, while others may be as large as a human child.