How long does a snail sleep?
The topic under discussion is synonymous to the ‘Snails Sleep 3’ Google term and its literal meaning is that the snail can sleep for 3 years. That sounds unbelievable but it is a fact. People usually get stunned by this fact as most of them believes that the tiny creatures such as a snail does not have a very long age, so how could one sleep for 3 years. Nevertheless, it still remains a fact and this science is similar to some other animals that hibernate in cold weathers. This is just true for the snails as they also tend to hibernate in extremely cold weather and this act is kind of mandatory for their survival in extreme weather conditions.
A little bit of background about snails:
Snails are known to be amongst the oldest most animals on the planet earth which are still surviving. The fossil evidence suggests that their existence started in the late Cambrian period and that in other words means that snails were present on the face of the earth some 00 million years ago. Snails have many species and in general, they differ fundamentally into 2 different types, namely, terrestrial or aquatic. The aquatic type, just as the name suggests are known to live in fresh water or sea while the terrestrial type could be found on land, but in the humid areas mainly. Snails tend to move very slowly and there are many quotes that you must have heard where the slowness or laziness of someone is compared to the pace of the snail with which it moves. Their recorded speed in forward direction on average is about 0.5 to 0.7 inches in 1 second. Snail racing could be seen in a lot of different places in UK and imagining them crossing the finish line needs a lot of patience!
Snails are famous for another mighty thing and that is its ability to sleep for a very long period of time, which for such insects/ animals is known as hibernation. We will learn about hibernation and their sleeping habits in the sections to come.
Estivation and Hibernation:
The day to day sleeping style of the snails suggest that they go into very deep and long sleep for the sake of avoiding any adverse weather conditions. The other possible and proven reason for their long deep sleep is when they feel that the availability of food is not enough for their survival which could also be due to some extreme weather conditions. In the colder weather conditions, snails tend to hibernate till the winter is over and then in the hotter months, they estivate. During any mode, such as estivation or hibernation, the snails tend to completely cover themselves while fully getting inside their shells through the mucus layer which actually forms a solid and a hard covering, right over their opening part.
Sleeping Habits of Snails:
Researchers from the University of Toronto brought forward some really interesting facts about the sleeping habits of the snails. They suggested that the sleeping cycle of snails is quite estrange from that of the humans. Their seep cycle lasts for 2 to 3 days and they have on average, 7 sleep spells in a period of nearly 15 hours. After this sleeping period, they have an active span of their food hunting activities for roughly 30 hours. The published results from the research carried in 2011 also suggested that apart from accepting the sleeping cycle of the snails over a shorter period, they also have the tendency to hibernate for months and sometimes even years, depending on their body needs and the severity of the weather conditions. The researchers in their activity observed snails for as long as 79 days and were well aware about their different sleeping patterns.
Snails sleep long and their usual sleep cycle is quite different as compared to other animals and even human beings. They hibernate in extreme cold conditions for their survival or when they are not able to hunt their food. In their routine sleep cycle, if they are not able to sleep after their usual activity time, then they do not require to make up for that at a later time. It is just that their sleep cycle alternates.