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The Value of Snails: Prestige & Innovation Beyond Amazing Biodiversity

Brodie, Gilianne D. and Lako, Jimaima and Lowry, Brenda (2017) The Value of Snails: Prestige & Innovation Beyond Amazing Biodiversity. In: Snails: Biodiversity, Biology and Behavioral Insights. Animal Science, Issues and Research . Nova Science Publishers, New York, pp. 13-49. ISBN 978-1-53611-847-6

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Many people from all walks of life have observed, utilized and investigated snails for thousands of years. These human activities have embraced snails in the ocean, in freshwater and on land because snails are one of the few animal groups that have successfully diversified and adapted to exploit all three of these main environments. Countless numbers of people have interacted with snails from a young age because they were either good to eat, practically useful or biologically fascinating. The latter two points are well illustrated by the production of pain killers many times stronger than morphine from snail toxins and by the stunning manufacture of a mega-diverse variety of snail shell forms. The fact is, snails can be found almost everywhere you go on our planet, from the bottom of the sea to the tops of mountains, and significantly they are also found in the every-day existence of people from all walks of life. However, despite their ubiquitous occurrence, there is a critical gap in the use of snails and other similarly diverse invertebrate species, in estimating the extent of our planets biodiversity, and in discussions and debates on the economic value of biodiversity. The magnitude of invertebrate contributions to ecosystem services, ecosystem function and human livelihoods is considerably under acknowledged. Therefore, to date, snails are largely unrecognized as a hugely diverse and highly valuable natural resource, many of which may be lost before their contribution to the quality of life on our planet is adequately recognized by managers and decision makers at all levels of society. Thus, we here collate and highlight a snap shot of information on the value of snails in relation to food and medicine, their use by traditional indigenous cultures in addition to their considerable significance with regards to biodiversity, and the current extinction rate of snails on tropical islands.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Q Science > QL Zoology
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
Depositing User: Gilianne Brodie
Date Deposited: 21 May 2017 21:54
Last Modified: 21 May 2017 21:54

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