An extremely rare “left-handed” garden snail dubbed Jeremy has managed to find his soul- er, shell-mate... with a little help from his human friends.
It's a match made in gastropod heaven! Jeremy (named after British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbin) is a snail whose shell spirals to the left. Not only is this a one-in-a-million happenstance, it's also a huge impediment to Jeremy's love life. “Essentially,” states Angus Davison, professor of evolutionary genetics at the University of Nottingham, “their bits are in the wrong position.”
Word of Jeremy's plight (as seen above) soon spread virally, as such things tend to do these days, and the lovelorn slimer soon found himself in the limelight for all the wrong reasons. Fortuitously, however, a member of a local conchological society (conchology is the study of shells) mentioned Jeremy to amateur snail scientist Jade Melton, whose pet snail “Lefty” had – you guessed it – a left-spiraling shell as well.
“I found him crawling up a tree in my partner's garden,” explained Melton to Carol Off, host of the radio program As It Happens. “I found Lefty before Jeremy was found so I've had Lefty for quite a long time,” added Melton (above right). “I got into contact with Professor Davison (above left) straight away.”
The next step involved Lefty getting in touch with Jeremy... literally. At press time their courtship appeared to be moving forward though not by leaps and bounds. “They just touch each other gently with their tentacles, their eye stocks,” states Melton, “and they will kind of caress each other for a while. It is very sweet, but with snails it's always a slow process.” You don't say!