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Can't Hurry Love: Rare Snail Finds Romance After Global Search
November 10, 20164:26 PM ET
Merrit Kennedy

[Image: jeremy_on_left_and_lefty_on_right_2_cust...00-c85.jpg]

A genetic fluke stood in the way of love for a lonely, unique garden snail named Jeremy.

But against all odds, and thanks to a global search, Jeremy has hopefully found a mate (or two).

Jeremy is a "lefty" snail, meaning his shell swirls counterclockwise and his sex organs are on the left side of his head. He's a mirror image of other members of his species — and he wouldn't be able to mate with normal snails because their reproductive organs wouldn't line up.

He could be one in a million, evolutionary geneticist Angus Davison of the University of Nottingham tells The Two-Way, though scientists are now thinking it's a trait likely found in one out of every 100,000 snails.

Davison's team is working to determine the gene that makes Jeremy's shell swirl to the left — and studying his offspring would be helpful for their research. Incidentally, Jeremy is named after Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the U.K.'s Labour Party who also has a fondness for gardens.

They put out a call asking the public "for its help in finding the lonely mollusc a mate," and spread the word using the hashtag #snaillove. As Popular Science charmingly says, "even snails use online dating."

Almost immediately, Jeremy, who was originally discovered in a London compost heap, became a media sensation in the U.K. and beyond — a "shellebrity," as Davison puts it.
"We didn't really know how big a hope it would be, or the chances of success, to find one," he says. "But it worked — we found two."

[Image: lefty_on_top_jeremy_underneath_custom-30...00-c85.jpg]


Their offspring will provide an answer to one big question: Will breeding the two snails result in more lefty shells or will their offspring sport clockwise coils?




His sex organs are on his head too?!?!? Chuckle


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