Temperamental snails and crazy hours:


In the final few weeks of the semester snails began laying rapidly once exposed to the increased temperatures inside our lab which is kept at approximately 23 degrees Celsius. However, snail laying occurred so rapidly in the first couple of days that I was not able to test the effects of mudsnails on substrate laying in a controlled setting. Despite this, I was able to make some observations about the mud snail laying in our aquaria. Mud snails preferred the glass walls of the container (an unnatural substrate) over all natural shell substrate at the bottom  of the aquarium. Additionally, when eelgrass was added to this aquarium mud snails did not lay on the grass, but eelgrass was added several days after the laying pulse. This experience served as a lesson for the importance of timing and scheduling in science, especially when working with living systems. If I had better prepared the experiment directly after the snails were collected, I may have been able to successfully run the experiment. As of now, the data from my summer research supports that mud snail laying preference for eelgrass is robust to changes in temperature and may not be greatly affected by climate change.