Snail dead? How remove from shell?

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Postby beader on Thu Apr 10, 2003 2:02 pm

oh i know, it's definitely a respectable thing to save the shells. the shells on my snails aren't particularly pretty though, so i don't know...i guess i'll cross that bridge when i get to it.
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Shell Preservation

Postby Deputy Stankus on Fri Apr 11, 2003 7:30 pm

Well, perhaps I am strange, but I really would like to preserve my snail's shell. He just died this morning (due apparently to shell damage from excessive mating :oops: ). Can someone who has actually preserved a shell post some detailed instructions? Please?
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Postby StephD4evr on Fri Apr 11, 2003 11:56 pm

Preserving the shell is the easy part. It's getting the body out of the shell that sometimes doesn't go as planned. On a couple of mine I have been lucky. The body slipped from the shell & simply floated. Then I just took the shell and boiled it for a few minutes, let it cool, scrubbed it gently with a toothbrush, rinsed and let it air dry. They look nice on a shelf.

On others, the bodies are just stuck in there. I :oops: tried boiled a dead snail once. I wouldn't recommend that. It just makes the body toughen up. I read somewhere where someone thought of freezing one but then decided not to as the water inside the shell would expand and split the shell. Someone just posted letting the body "sit" but the stench would be pretty gross. Maybe if you have an area outside where you could put the dead snail in a plastic strawberry basket cage (to keep birds from taking off with it, or mammals), you could let it air dry and decompose. I'm sure the ants & other bugs would make short work of it. I would imagine they would leave the shell. You could take the shell and boil it once the remains were eaten. I know some backwoods people who "clean" deer or cow skulls like that. They put the gross remains in a cage of sorts and let the insects clean it. Sounds really gross, but I bet it would work and beats having a stinkin' carcass in your house!! LOL.
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Postby SnailerD on Sat Apr 12, 2003 5:45 am

The process of having bugs clean off skeletons and stuff is called "Flensing" - to my knowledge. They use it in forensics, too. I guess it might work, for a snail, unless some creature would get aggressive with the cover and pack your dead snail - shell and all - away! :(
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Postby StephD4evr on Sat Apr 12, 2003 7:05 am

Sorry to use the term "bugs" SnailerD! I meant INSECTS.
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Postby SNAILFAN on Sat Apr 12, 2003 12:03 pm

To really dissect you need to have some professional scaples(spelling?).
Just cut through the mantle cavity.

Get them
here
and here
and here
Invertebrats, they may be spineless,but they are the backbone of nature.:snail:
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More Shell Talk

Postby Deputy Stankus on Sat Apr 12, 2003 6:08 pm

Well, I suppose I will try this "flensing." I am afraid to try the scalpel. I don't want to hurt the shell--and I don't think that smell would ever go away. However, if anyone has any other ideas or experience, I would greatly appreciate it.

Speaking of shells, I have another question. Some of my older snails have little pock marks in their shells. They are gold snails, and the pock marks are not holes, but the area looks sort of...faded. I have heard that this can be resolved with nail polish. Has anyone tried this? I can't decide whether to use clear polish, yellow polish, or my sister's polish that changes colors in the light :D . Anyhoo, your help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Postby Stijn on Sat Apr 12, 2003 11:20 pm

If you would like to remove the snail's body from the shell withou smell, you have to cut the columellar muscle. This muscle connects the body and the shell.

Image

If you simple try to pull, the body often tears and the body remains inside the shell like StephD4evr described. If you cut the columellar muscke with a small knife, you can seperate the shell and the body.

Image
Sorry for the bad quality picture, I quickly made, hoping that it would make it all a bit more clear :)
Last edited by Stijn on Sat Apr 12, 2003 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby beader on Sat Apr 12, 2003 11:33 pm

i used nail polish on my snail....her pockmarks got pretty frequent, so i slathered some on. i forget which kind i used, but i'm positive it was clear CHEAP stuff. it has stayed on for several months, but it has turned white...looks like she's got elmer's glue all over. i read here that colored nail polish wouldn't last as long....i think they recommended 'Hard as Nails' brand. so far so good!

stijn...that drawing you did is good...i understand it. it's nice to know what to do, so when they do die i can take care of it right away. before the stink.
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Postby StephD4evr on Sun Apr 13, 2003 3:01 am

It's funny what "Sally Hansen's Hard-As-Nails" is good for! My husband and I use it in our business too, to create a clear seal over labels we don't want to peel off of electronics & stuff. It's as universal as duct tape, sounds like.

:lol:
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Postby Deputy Stankus on Sun Apr 13, 2003 4:00 am

Well, I guess I'll try the hard as nails. Let you know how it works out. As for the dead snail, after all the great advice (which is greatly appreciated) I sat down with a scalpel to do the deed tonight--and the snail just came sliding out of the shell :D ! I did have to cut it away from the trap door, but other than that it was no problem. Guess what someone said about letting them soak works. Doesn't help the smell, though...
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Postby SnailerD on Sun Apr 13, 2003 6:39 am

Oh, no - that smell doesn't go away until the body is out of the shell. Even after that, I still soak the shell in some anti-bacterial soap and baking soda for a couple of days. Scrub it with a sponge or brush. I tried bleach a couple times, but it faded the shell out. Good luck with your snail shell. They usually are very pretty and worth keeping. I have a whole container full of them. :snail: :D

(Steph - it's okay, for you to use the term "bugs" - I just don't like it when I talk about my big moths! I'm not that freaky about that, either, though). :D
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Postby sillysnailmom on Tue Apr 15, 2003 12:38 am

I still have my dead snail in the freezer. Maybe I'll thaw her and try to get her out. CrazysnailGirl wants a burial, so maybe we could just bury the body and keep the shell. :roll:
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Postby Deputy Stankus on Tue Apr 15, 2003 4:19 am

Ok, I bought some "Hard as Nails." Apparently it's not actually nail enamel, but something to strengthen nails before applying polish. So...is it still best to use? Will it hurt my snail? As I said, it's just pocks in the shell, not actual holes. If anyone has actually used it, I'd appreciate feedback.
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Postby StephD4evr on Tue Apr 15, 2003 4:31 am

I don't think it will really matter, as long as it is the clear, cheap stuff. Most importantly it is to create a hard layer that will stay on. I think Snannie has used something like it to repair her shells. :snail:
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