A quintet of the world’s largest species of snail has gone on display in one of the large bio-domes at Bristol Aquarium.
The giant tiger land snail, which is native to West Africa, can reach in excess of 18cms in the wild – making them the largest land snails on the planet.
The aquarium’s snails, which were provided by the invertebrates’ team at Bristol Zoo, are part of a new project by the aquarium’s resident horticulturist, Wendy Desyllas.
“The snails are a fantastic way to get younger visitors interested in the wider natural world and the key role that often overlooked species like snails, bugs and insects play in maintaining healthy environments.
“As this particular species has also become a pest in some parts of the world where it has been either accidentally or deliberately released in to the wild they also allow us to cover topics like conservation.
“They are also one of the largest species of snail on the planet and, although ours are still relatively young, they will eventually reach up to 18cms across their shells!” she added.
As well as its fishy residents, Bristol Aquarium is home to dozens of exotic plants, flowers and trees from around the world – all housed within the giant glasshouse.
The botanical collection includes a display of orchids, flowering bougainvillea, Spanish flags, papaya plants, a ‘Jurassic Corner’ based around a collection of prehistoric tree ferns, Madagascan jasmine and fruiting banana trees.
Among the other horticultural highlights are the giant bamboos which grow at an extraordinary rate of up to 20 centimetres a day and the aquarium’s own crop of chillis and tamarillos.
Photo Jake Graham. Aquarist Charlotte Gee is pictured holding one of the giant snails.
Issued by Bristol Aquarium. For more information and to arrange picture/filming opportunities please contact Sarah Moore or Wendy Desyllas on 0117 929 8929.