Relationship Between Snail Shell Size and Distance on Substrate

Date
2023-12-08
Authors
Liong, Cassandra
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8
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1
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The intertidal zones of Hawai‘i are an ever-changing environment where habitating organisms are subject to highly variable conditions. Due to such changes, these organisms have been forced to evolve to keep up with the environment over time. Despite the many beaches and intertidal zones that are easily accessible in Hawai‘i, little is known about the snails of the genus Littorina and Nerita picea living on the substrate in these areas. The shells of snails serve as protection against predators in the intertidal area and have varying sizes and shapes. This research examined whether the size of snail shells are connected to the location of a snail in the intertidal zone, and whether snails that experience stronger wave action have different shell types. With a sample of these snails found on a rocky substrate, the distance between the base of a cliff and the observed location of the snails was measured in relation to the size of the snail shell. After conducting a correlation test and checking the statistical significance of the data, no significant relationship was observed between the two variables. In addition, there was little variance observed in the sizes of the snail shells measured. The findings suggest that shell size does not change in respect to where snails live in the intertidal zone. Further research could be conducted with an increased sample size and measuring other variables such as the snail shell thickness or height to observe if other relationships are present between the size of snail shells and their habitat.
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