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Heavy Weight Champion II

Heavy Weight Champion II
Photo Information
Copyright: AC van Dyk (Dyker) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 136 W: 0 N: 57] (170)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-11-12
Categories: Molluscs
Camera: Canon 300D, Sigma 70-300 DG Macro
Exposure: f/9.0, 1/200 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): !!! STOLEN PHOTOS !!! (II), !Slugfest, !!! STOLEN PHOTOS !!! I [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-12-31 5:00
Viewed: 7800
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Giant African snail
Achatina fulica

Thanks to all who critiqued or viewed my first photo of this snail. As mentioned it was taken at Ballito Bay on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast. A number of people asked me to show the complete snail so I hope you would like this photo to as I load it especially for you.

I poured some water on the snail to bring out those lovely wine-red colours in its shell. With time the snail moved away from where I was taking the photos and I wanted to return it to the same spot, but great was my surprise when I found it sucked so well to the surface that I could not lift it up. Out of fear for injury to the snail or that I might actually pull it out of its shell, I had to take a table knife to push in underneath its sucker in order to release it from the concrete surface. What a sucker.

Scientists consider this snail to be one of the most damaging land snails in the world. Originally from south of the Sahara in East Africa, this snail has established itself in Asia and the Indo-Pacific Islands, including Hawaii.

An incident in 1966 almost saw this snail settled in Miami, FL. A young boy returning from Hawaii smuggled 3 giant snails into Miami as pets. His grandmother eventually released the snails into her garden. Seven years later, more than 18,000 snails were found along with lots of eggs. It took the State of Florida almost 10 years and more than $1 million to rid itself of this slow but persistent pest.

Compared to native snails of America, this foreign pest is really big, about 350 mm long. Two qualities make this tropical snail especially dangerous. First, it can survive cold conditions by aestivating. This means that the snail will become slow and sluggish, essentially hibernating until warm weather returns. Second, it is a whiz at reproduction. Each snail contains both female and male reproductive organs! After a single mating session, each snail can produce a batch of 100 to 400 eggs and it can keep this up several more times without having to mate again. In a typical year, every adult lays about 1,200 eggs. They can live as long as 9 years, and that is plenty of time to cause trouble in the environment.

One of the threats posed by this snail is not what it eats, but what it carries. This pest can be a vector for human diseases. If the snail is eaten raw or isn't completely cooked, diners eating it might get the eosinophilic rat lungworm parasite as a side dish without knowing it - and meningitis for dessert.

Another threat is the voracious snail's appetite. It is known to eat at least 500 different types of plants, including breadfruit, cassava, cocoa, papaya, peanut, rubber, and most varieties of beans, peas, cucumbers, and melons. Unlike people, thiese snails are never picky eaters. If vegetables or fruits are not available, they will munch on a wide variety of ornamental plants and even tree bark. All the world's a buffet table to this snail.

extramundi, nainnain, Argus, RAP, loot, peter_stoeckl, SkyF, Shoot_Score, Little-white has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

What a beautiful and impressing snail you have brought to us.
It is really beautiful although reading your great note I understand it can be very harmful. Very nice details and good POV. Thanks very much for sharing.
My late welcome to TN and best wishes for 2007.
Regards, Felipe.

magnifique ton escargot, les couleurs sont superbes, celui-ci n' a pas eu peur du photographe car il est resté bien étalé.
bon support aussi net
bien vu, amitičs et merci du partage

Hello AC,
Thanks for showing us this "monster" in its integrality. Again, this is an excellent capture with good details and colors. Most of all, I really enjoyed reading those so interesting notes about them. This little boy from Miami, didn't know what he was doing ;) I didn't know that this animal could be a vector for human diseases. I don't think that this is a kind of snail that I would eat :-) This is a great post, thanks,

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2006-12-31 5:52]

Hello AC,
Fine contribution to TN, the first edition having been missed by me. Nice sharp and well presented shot and clever of you to water it first.
Excellent note.
TFS and best wishes for 2007!

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2006-12-31 6:12]

Hello AC,
Thanks for showing us the whole monster!! Very interesting note illustrating how wrong it is to transport wild creatures to other parts of the world! With the drought in Africa it shouldn't spread too much though!
Excellent capture which is enhanced by the moisture, very sharp and excellent colours.
I look forward to some new shots of the beautiful wildlife of S. Africa from you in 2007!
TFS, Ulla
Thank you and all the best for 2007, Ulla

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2006-12-31 10:22]

Un excelente complemento de tu anterior presentación en primer plano AC con la misma calidad y bello colorido, a partir de un apropiado foco integral, punto de vista y encuadre que conforman una agradable composición.
Mis saludos y mejores deseos... Ricardo

An excellent complement of your previous presentation in close up AC with the same quality and beautiful colors, starting from an appropriate integral focus, point of view and framing that conform a pleasant composition.
Greetings and my best wishes... Ricardo

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2007-01-01 9:27]

Hello AC

Wow, another amazing capture of this mammoth snail accompanied by a great and very informative note. Lovely work.

This is a trick I must remember for the future. Wetting the snail really brought out and intensified the wonderful colours, not only of the shell, but also on its body. The close-cropped composition worked very well to focus attention on the mollusc. The colours are absolutely stunning, the details are brilliant while the plane of the DOF is clearly visible, the evenly coloured BG compliments the subject very well, and you handled the exposure perfectly with the fill-in flash. Again the photo does not look flattened at all due to the use of the flash. To the contrary, I actually think there is wonderful depth in the presentation.

Very well done and TFS.

Hello AC,
that ferocious monster really looks nice. Good idea to pour some water on it to get those beautiful rich colours.
Thank you! Best regards,

Hi AC welcome to TN, a friend of mine has just aquired 2 of these as pets. this is the better of your 2 views the detail of both the image and the notes are very good . TFS yours Robert

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-01-09 11:13]

Hello AC,
this looks great, very well composed with a excellent crop and great colors. The neutral BG does sho off your subject very well and the sharp details pop out very nice.
Welcome to TrekNature.

Hi AC,

This is a good picture. You have captured the snail really well, and I like it.

Well done and TFS.

Hello AC,
impressive image! Colors and sharpness are really well captured; your note is quite terrifying...

Hello AC.

Excellent image, very good details and colors.

Jose Luis.

Hello Dyker,

I have some bad news, and some more bad [bad] news; but also some good news...

Let me start in order...
The small bad news is that my previous critique is / was lost apparently... But my "Theming" has stood the test of time! [ Thus far ]

The really bad news is here where your image is shown by a thief on his /her gallery!

The "good" news is that I will renew my smiley!

Sorry not enough time to go thru a full critiques again.
The fact the shot was stolen is proof enough of its great quality!

PS Sorry to be the bearer of bad news

UPDATE Oct 1st 207:
The above stolen copy is not yet GONE! The other copy is gone < at "Musty" >

frightening chestnut snail. TFS Ori

Very big!!!
Very beautiful portrait!

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