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Speed of snails

"It's always difficult to study the form with snails because they hide inside their shells - but it's actually much easier to commentate on the race because it's slower than horse racing" Racing commentator John McCririck

Although speed is not usually associated with snails,there are people who organize snail races.Ofcourse speed is a relative thing,how fast a snail can and will go depends on a couple of things.The surface on which a snail creeps is an important factor.A snail on glass will go faster than a snail on gravelly soil.Freshwater snails will crawl quicker than their terrestrial colleagues.The physical condition is a factor and if a snail is in danger it will try to find a safe place fast. Here are some numbers to illustrate this:

Bibliographic source Speed
The World Almanac and Book of Facts 1999. New Jersey: Primedia, 1998: 572. "Garden snail, 0.03 mph" 0.013 m/s
Branson, Branley Allan. World & I. 11, 5 (May 1996): 166. "A large banana slug has been observed to cover 6.5 inches in 120 minutes. At that rate, a tortoise would seem fleet-footed." 0.000023 m/s
The Guinness Book of World Records 1998. Stanford, CT: Guinness, 1997: 144. "A garden snail named Archie, owned by Carl Branhorn of Pott Row, England, covered a 13 inch course in 2 minutes at the 1995 World Snail Racing Championships, held in Longhan, England." 0.0028 m/s
As It Happened 1975: Snail Racer [Real Media File]. Interview with Chris Hudson of Brighton, England by Barbara Frum. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 1975. "Well, the fastest snail that I've ever had covered a two foot course, which is a standard course for a snail race... in some three minutes flat. Now any mathematicians listening to the program will realize straight away that works out at 132 hours to travel a full mile." 0.0034 m/s
table courtesy of this site