Wednesday, February 14, 2007

It's a boy! And, um, also a girl!

I was lured out to the garden this morning by a fleet of fat earthworms pulling themselves across the patio.

Surely, a sign of Spring!

After watching them for a while, I thought I'd check out what was new in snailville. Our little rocky fountain is homebase for many snails; they spent the winter huddled together in small clutches on the underside of the rocks. So I wondered if they'd come out of hibernation. Nope.

But I did spy something unusual:

Something slick and shiny caught my eye.

I looked closer.

What do you know? It's a baby slug!

Slugs are hermaprodites. When they mate, each slug gives sperm to its partner and also receives sperm to fertilize its eggs.

The eggs are then deposited in the soil and after a short gestation period out pop these cute little babies.

And, as a Valentine's Day treat, you can see some racy pictures of slugs' very bizarre lovemaking here.

Spring is in the air!

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