Thanks to a Nigerian friend of the family, who visits her home country every December, I have received another batch of giant African snail shells. This lot of 6 shells are even huger than the ones she had brought back last year. Last year I had identified them as Achatina achatina, but a reader subsequently indicated that they were actually Archachatina marginata. I'll stick with that name until further notice.
For weight measurements that do not require great accuracy, I use an old, battered Ohaus Cent-O-Gram triple-beam balance that I rescued from a certain one-way trip to a garbage dump several years ago during a laboratory clean-up. Most of these guys are only a few tenths of a gram below the balance's maximum capacity of 111 g.
This one was 109.65 g. In fact, one of them exceeds 111 g.
They are also longer than the standard 15-cm span of calipers. So, how do I measure them?
I'm telling you, they are giants.