Joris van Alphen Photography

Into the Wild

Giant Invador

Posted October 29, 2012. Filed under: Biology, Conservation, Nature, Photography. Leave a comment.

Giant African land snail (Lissachatina fulica)

Docile as this slow crawler may look, the IUCN classifies the giant African land snail Lissachatina fulica as one of the world’s top 100 invasive species.

I photographed this one on Borneo, more than 8,000 kilometers from the East African coastal regions it belongs to. What allows it to travel these incredible distances is its capability to go into a state of dormancy called ‘aestivation’ (similar to hibernation). It originally evolved this survival trick to make it through long periods of drought in Africa, but incidentally it’s also a great way to survive long rides on human transportation systems that carry it halfway around the planet.

Oh, and did I mention it really is GIANT? Have a look at the size of this museum specimen in a jar.

Photographed for the Meet Your Neighbours project with generous support from Redged.

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