11 August 2011

Lights, camera, Euxina circumdata!

I bought a new camera recently that can take high resolution videos, which I intend to use to film my favorite creatures. The ultimate aim is to better understand their behavior and functional anatomy.

I am more or less a novice at this and still learning the tricks of video photography, especially of the close-up, hand-held camera kind. The experience I have gained from years of still photography helps, though.

Here is one of my 1st attempts at snail cinematography. The subject was an adult Euxina circumdata with a shell length of 11.7 mm.


Do remember that at such high magnifications the depth of field is very short as it would be in any kind of close-up photography. As a result, not everything is in focus simultaneously. But the nice thing about using a hand-held camera is that I can move it back and forth to bring different parts of the subject in focus.

Notice how short the snail's foot is relative to its shell. Because of that size discrepancy, the snail can't lift its shell up when crawling on a horizontal surface. I have written about this before in this post. Nevertheless, the adhesion provided by the short foot is more than enough to support the weight of the snail's body and its shell when it's crawling sideways as you can see in the video or even upside down.

I had to reduce the resolution of the file to be able to upload it here. The original uncut version is 225 MB.


Cindy said...

Amazing to see him swing that big shell over the edge like that. And why would a little snail have such a big shell anyway?


The rest of the snail inside the shell is big!

سحس said...

Nice blog

JK said...

Speaking of small animal lifting such a large object (ie. shell), a bioengineering idea crossed my mind- Could the operational mechanics of this Clausilid be a model for designing a machine to lift large objects (eg. for mega-construction projects)?

Just a wild thought...


The carrying power of these snails all depends on how strong an attachment they can form with their feet. I understand a snail's foot functions as a suction with the help of its sticky slime.