Poor Jeremy the snail can only sit and watch


Jeremy the "lefty" snail, whose shell wraps to the left, or in a counterclockwise direction, from the centre to the opening, sits atop the common form of right-coiling, or dextral, shelled snail, at the University of Nottingham.

"As there has so far been no sign of Jeremy mating with either Lefty or Tomeu, it underlines how incredibly lucky we were to find not just one, but two of these amazingly rare snails following our public appeal", said Nottingham University's Dr Angus Davison.

A snail with a rare anti-clockwise pattern on its shell has found out the hard way that love is dead.

That's where we left the tale of Jeremy, the rare left-coiling snail, last November.

The two "lefty" snails who were supposed to be Jeremy's potential lovers fell for each other instead and have produced their first offspring.

Angus Davison, a professor at the University of Nottingham in central England, took Jeremy into care and launched an global search a year ago to find a possible mate for the lonely hermaphrodite.

Lefty has since returned to his home in Ipswich and Davison is still hopeful that Jeremy might be back in business and mate with Tomeu.

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And Jeremy remains alone.

"The irony is, it's like that thing where maybe you introduce your best friend to a girl you're interested in", Dr Angus Davison, a biologist at the University of Nottingham who is also Jeremy's keeper, told Radio 4's Today programme.

Come spring, Lefty and Tomeu were immediately "keen, moving around", said Davison, but Jeremy "didn't seem to have much energy".

The search turned up Lefty in Ipswich and Tomeau, who was flown into the United Kingdom from a snail farm in Majorca.

The pair began to produce eggs in April and have already had 170 babies, although none of the offspring so far has shared the left-swirls of their parents.

Nonetheless, it's a great opportunity for researchers to study them and hopefully identify the genetic variations which cause the unique shell formations.