Back to: Nature online

Land snail shell (Acavus haemastoma)

228Kb download [click and drag the image to rotate the exhibit]

A Sri Lankan land snail shell. Sri Lanka possesses many different snails with about 90% of its species found nowhere else. They are part of the rich ecology of the rainforest.

Over 20% of the species found in a current Museum field programme were new to science. However, their future is uncertain because most are restricted to the few remaining fragments of the island's rainforest. They descend to the ground at night where they feed on rotting fruit. Acavus haemastoma is a member of a genus of large and beautiful tree snails that are only found in Sri Lanka. Acavus belongs to an ancient group that inhabited the southern continent of Gondwana over 150 million years ago.

Its true width is 45 mm, height 38 mm, so this image should appear twice its actual size on most computer monitors.