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Jeremy, The Loneliest Left-handed Snail In The World Who Hasn’t Found Love.

“One in a million”, and maybe more. No expression suits Jeremy, the rare and special snail we’re about to tell you about. A seemingly simple creature like many others, who gave the world a unique and moving story.

Would you ever have thought that a simple squirrel snail (Cornu aspersum) could become famous enough to have a hashtag, a dedicated Wikipedia page, and a team of scientists who have been studying and researching it for years?

#1

image credit: University of Nottingham

It all started in 2016 when a retired scientist found this snail in a garden in southwest London. One detail immediately caught his attention: his shell exhibited the usually coiled spiral on the left side of the body, and not on the right side as is usually the case with most of his fellows. As luck would have it, the snail would be noticed by the right person since the man, for years, worked at the Natural History Museum in the British capital.

It is therefore obvious that the animal immediately appeared special. The spiral was on the “wrong” side and, due to this peculiarity, he immediately contacted the experts at the University of Nottingham, who were delighted to welcome the snail, noting its true rarity.

#2

image credit: University of Nottingham

It was then that, thanks to Professor Angus Davison, Jeremy’s story made the headlines, catching the attention of many people, also thanks to the hashtag #Snaillove. After having “baptized” it with this name, taking inspiration from British Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn – who is also an avid gardener – the English university has launched a public appeal to help it find a mate. The reason? Due to its left-facing shell, this “left-handed” snail would have had serious difficulties mating, risking being left alone and without offspring forever.

The search therefore turned to anyone who had had the opportunity to come into contact with garden snails similar to Jeremy. Several times it seemed like Jeremy had found the company he wanted, but most of them had not. Until two snails – Lefty and Tomeau – step into the picture and seem like just what Jeremy needs.

#3

image credit: ABC Science/Facebook

The two, however, preferred to mate with each other , giving birth to dozens of “normal” snails. Jeremy, more and more alone , was constantly left on the sidelines and hopes of being able to find a partner, for him, were very low. His abnormal and rare shell had also caused a displacement of his genitals.

#4

image credit: University of Nottingham

Jeremy’s life was, unfortunately, coming to an end, but we can say that, despite his difficulties, before leaving us, he had a moment of happiness he managed to become a father with Tomeau, generating 56 children, all with their own. shell rolled up on the “right” side.

Beyond the amorous vicissitudes of this small gastropod, the interest that his “case” has aroused is also scientific. From what Davison said, Jeremy carried a rare genetic mutation. Its “left-handed” shell is in fact the result of specific combinations of dominant and recessive genes. The researcher, taking this snail as an example, said body asymmetry in animals – and also in humans – could be influenced by these genes. The “Jeremy case” could therefore also be useful for scientific purposes which concern us more closely.

#5

image credit: University of Nottingham

In the meantime, one can only be impressed by this enigma of nature, which gave birth to what was probably, and unbeknownst to it, the most solitary and famous snail in history!

Source used:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/
https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/news/
https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/news/
BBC

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