The mobile foot of the aquatic violet snail creates a raft by collecting air bubbles and enveloping them in mucus.

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References

“The violet snail Janthina janthina floats on the water surface by means of a bubble raft made by its mobile foot, which scoops up bubbles of air and, after enveloping them in mucus, adds them to its raft.” (Pallasmaa 1995:22)

“Bubble-rafting snails, including the brightly-colored common purple snail (Janthina janthina), bob upside-down right below the surface in oceans across the globe, waiting for floating prey that includes stinging jellyfish known as Portuguese man-of-wars. When a potential meal sails by, janthinids extend their sharp mouths like cannons and rasp off chunks from the gelatinous animals. But like free-spirited pirates, the snails, which grow to about 3 centimeters long, travel wherever the waters and winds take them. Scientists have known that the often-long flotation aids contain mucus…Both male and female bubble-rafters secrete thick goo from their feet, and then fold the mucus to form air-trapping pockets.” (Strain 2011)

Book
Animal ArchitectureApril 22, 2014
Ingo Arndt


Snails ship out on scrambled eggs

Journal article
Females floated first in bubble-rafting snailsCurrent BiologyOctober 17, 2011
Celia K.C. Churchill, Diarmaid Ó Foighil, Ellen E. Strong, Adriaan Gittenberger

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Living System/s

Organism
Black Wood PigeonJanthina janthinaSpecies

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