Pastured grazing

A decayed Birch had given way and toppled into the water. I recovered what I could and a chainsaw worked the remainder. As I collected the shorts, I noticed that one bore the graze marks of a snail. Many gastropods use a toothed rasp to gather food. Grazing is highly ordered and elaborate patterns may accumulate on appropriate substrate. Look closely at any one of approximately fifty arcs of activity. More than a dozen feeding strokes are taken to the left, the animal moves forward, and as many strokes are then taken to the right. The behavior is reminiscent of what a cow might do on pasture … munch, munch, munch to the left, a step or two forward, and munch, munch, munch to the right.

9 thoughts on “Pastured grazing

  1. However I thought snails fed, this wasn’t it. It’s fascinating. But I have to ask – do you see the sitting, feathered bird, with its beak to the left and its tail to the right?

  2. This post is instructive! It belongs in a science textbook! I figured the feeding strokes looked too perfectly spaced to be made by any animal! Very interesting.

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