These sea snails fly like butterflies, sinking like hang-gliders (VIDEO)

Some sea snails soak through water by flapping their squid appendages similar to butterfly wings – now, scientists have discovered that the shape of snail shells also helps them zip through the ocean.

New study, published on 7 September in the journal Frontiers in Marine ScienceShows that large snails with thin, elongated shells cut through the water more quickly than smaller snails with round, coiled shells. Small snails, due to their short wings, swim at a slow pace, but their size and speed also make it so that they cannot easily overcome resistance from the surrounding waters, author David Murphy, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering Study of the University of South Florida told Live Science in an email. “Large snails can easily overcome the effects of this viscosity,” or resistance to water flow, and those streamlined shells bite through the water even more easily, he said.