How Snails Get Around
Terrestrial snails move using their muscular foot. By creating an undulating wave-like motion along the length of the foot, a snail is able to push against a surface and propel its body forward, albeit slowly. At top speed snails cover a mere 3 inches per minute. Their progress is slowed by the weight of their shell. In proportion to their body size, the shell is quite a load to carry.
A Trail of Slime
To help them move, snails secrete a stream of slime (mucus) from a gland located at the front of their foot. This slime enables them to glide smoothly over many different types of surface and helps to form a suction that helps them cling to vegetation and even hang upside down.
For a list of sources used in the creation of this visual guide, please see the Recommended Reading page.