[Press Release] Why did you want to climb trees? Adaptive significance of arboreality for a tree-climbing land snail

[Press Release] Why did you want to climb trees? Adaptive significance of arboreality for a tree-climbing land snail

A research team that includes Prof. Tsutomu Hiura (Division of Biosphere Science) revealed that the reason why Sapporo-maimai, an arboreal snail, live in trees where it seems to be a unique habitat. The research outcome shows that the snail, after hibernation on the forest floor during winter, move into the treetops and then come back down to the ground in fall. It also shows lower predation pressure in the trees than on the forest floor and the snail’s different feeding habits in trees from forest-floor dwelling snails.
Airy environment like in trees is generally believed as an unsuitable habitat for snails. However, this research lead to a clear finding that Sapporo-maimai has developed to adapt to living in trees where there are fewer predators and plenty of foods.
This research is receiving high evaluations in terms of proving the snail’s adaptation to living in trees under natural environment focusing on arboreal snails that represent slowest animals in the world. It is a thought-provoking result about the significance of conservation of virgin forests where they can survive.

This research outcome is published in Animal Behaviour.

Please visit links below to view the press release.
Research Press Release (English)

Graduate School of Environmental Sceince, Hokkaido University