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June 17, 2012 -- Slime! It's so much cooler than you think -- Guest...
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Publish-date-icon June 15, 2012
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Snails and slugs are perhaps best known for their slowness and their slime. Those silver trails snails leave all over your yard: that's slime. That sticky stuff that slugs have coating their body: that's slime. Snail and slug lime has some pretty amazing properties -- it's 97% water, and it can serve as either a lubricant for the slippery suckers to get from one place to another, or as a glue for them to hang out in one spot for a while. Slugs also use their slime as a defense mechanism, secreting buckets of it when attacked. The defensive slime is unusually sticky, and any predator that gets a mouthful of it may have trouble opening its mouth for some time. Andy Smith, Ithaca College professor of biology and self-professed snail lover, talks with host Jenny Nelson about why these slime machines are so interesting.

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