How do you make love to a snail? Slowly, violently and with a mucus-coated love dart. McGill University biology professor Ronald Chase knew that “love darts” — sharp, slimy projectiles fired at prospective sexual partners — served to enhance paternity, he just wasn’t sure exactly how. He has now learned that the key to the ritual lies not in the projectile itself but in a special mucus on the dart that can double the chances of paternity.
Published in the bi-monthly Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, Biological Sciences, the discovery by Chase and his graduate student Katrina Blanchard further explains how the love dart plays a key evolutionary role in certain species of snails.
The snails are hermaphrodites.. Read more from the McGill University Press Release