Snail Smarts =D

Problem Scenario

There are a couple main reasons why I chose this as my topic. The biggest one is to see if a snail can sense the food by the volatile organic compounds. Also I wanted to see if hunger would make their decisions in where to go change.

Broad Question

Which habitat will a snail choose?

Specific Question.

If you put a snail in a container with a food source, will it find the food source?


I believe that the snail will choose the one with food.

Graph of Hypothesis



Independent Variable:

The habitat type, and type of snail.

Dependent Variable:

The habitat the snail chooses.

Variables That Need


The number of tanks, the type of resource, number of snails, and how much of each resource

Vocabulary List That Needs Explanation

Volatile Organic Compounds - An Unpleasant odor
Ulothrix Fimbriata - Green Alga

General Plan

Original: I took out the snail from the tank that had food in it. Then put some food in on one side. After that I place the snail in the tank and recorded where he went. There was a flaw with this. Because there was food in it's tank, the snail wasn't hungry.

New: I separate the snail into a tank with new food so they would be hungry. Then i put food in one end and the snail in the center of the tank. Then recorded the data.

Potential Problems And Solutions

Problem: The snail wont be hungry. Solution: Separate into a different tank

Safety Or Environmental Concerns

One concern is that I had to make sure no snails were able to get out. Also I had to make sure that the snails were healthy and taken care of.

Experimental Design

Number Of Trials: 30

Number Of Subjects In Each trial: 1

When data will be collected: It will be collected after each trial.

Number of Observations: 30

Where will data be collected?: It will be collected in my science journal and then transferred to my science fair wiki.

Resources and Budget Table

Poster board
Freshwater snail
The Choice Tank

Background Research

I learned a lot during this experiment. I learned of course whether of not the snail will go to the food source. More importantly I learned how a snail finds food using volatile organic compounds. Also I had to learn what causes volatile organic compounds in a lake or any other fresh water area. The result of that research was green algae. I used resources to find out information on fresh water snails. It showed me how they consume food and what their bodies look like on the inside with all their organs.





Detailed Procedure

1. Get the tank
2. Fill the tank with water
3. Get food into tank
4. Out the snail into the tank
5. Record where the snail goes
6. Repeat


Photo List


When the snails are put in the tank you wait a little bit. Then go and see what the snail chose. The majority of the time the snail will go to the food source.

All Raw Data





Data Analysis

Data Analysis: The data for my project wasn't surprising. After thirty trials the snail went to the food twenty-two times. They either didn't want the food or weren't able to locate it the other eight times.

Conclusion: My hypothesis that the snail will find and go to the food more was true. As the trials went on the snail went to the food twenty-two times and the plain water eight.


There were a few patterns in this project. One is that when the snail is hungry it goes to the food a lot. Then when it starts becoming less hungry it will start to go to the other side into plain water. A problem with my project is that the snail is not hungry. A way I solved this problem was to separating the snail into a different tank.

Benefit to Community and/or Science

This is a benefit to science for a few reasons. One is it is helpful to show that a snail can find its food without seeing it. Another is that it shows how a snail uses volatile organic compounds to find a food source.


This project was thought up for one main reason. It was that I wanted to see if the could find a food source. I did this by putting a snail in a tank with food on one and and just water in the other. The snail will find the food or go to water. As the experiment went on I found out one main thing. It was that the snail finds the food more often. A problem was that if the snail wasn't hungry