The causes of behavioural handedness – Part 2: can it be learned?

Snail training; discover how and where to poke a snail with a stick (very gently to avoid sulking).


In the second part of my project, which I am now a couple of weeks into, I am exploring whether the innate turning preference of snails can be altered by training them to turn in a certain direction. To accomplish this, I have been given a group of inbred sinistral Lymnaea stagnalis raised in the lab, one of which has turned out to be a surprisingly majestic dancer.

These snails, like the famous Jeremy, also have reversed shells! Below is a photograph of one of the dextral snails from my first experiment and a sinistral snail from my second for comparison:

My new cohort of 23 lefty snails mostly got along fine in their new tanks with the exception of snail 11729 who hardly moved during initial observations and died shortly afterwards. We can only assume he has joined Jeremy in the sinistral snail afterlife.

Jeremy & E

To attempt to train the…

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