With all that regular brushing, rinsing, flossing, the scary decay (not to mention wisdom teeth troubles), and the eventual visit to the dentist, you think having 32 teeth is a bother? But did you know slugs have several hundred thousand teeth? Slugs including snails, have these teeth on their tongue-together called radula that help them scrape at and eat their food. Since their teeth wear down, they are replaced by new teeth. While snails can have even up to 20,000. The Most Number of Teeth” award is won by the umbrella slug that goes through an unbelievable 750,000 of these teeth in a lifetime. A paleoanthropologist was right when he said. “Our teeth are boring.”

Slugs have an important role in the ecosystem and are key composters which help to break down decomposing vegetation. However they are notorious for being able to chomp through garden plants and vegetables in a very short period of time. They do this using their teeth. They need so many teeth  because instead of chewing their food, they have a ribbon-like flexible band of microscopic teeth called a radula. This acts like a circular saw — cutting through vegetation and eating it as they go. When their teeth wear out new rows of teeth move forward and replace them.

Slugs are hermaphrodites and they have both male and female reproductive systems. They are able to reproduce themselves without the need of a partner. In fact, one slug can lay up to 400-500 eggs in a year which can remain in the soil for years and hatch when the conditions are right. Slugs produce slime which enables them to slide along the ground. The slime also enables them to glide over broken glass or razor blades without damaging themselves. They can use the slime as a trail to find their way back to their homes, even being able to tell their own slime apart from other slugs and snails.

Credit :  Perry Ponders

Picture Credit : Google 

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