The rarest snail in the world

Patty Lee Shipman

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Abstract

Pat Shipman explains how he came to know about Cerion nanus, the rarest snail in the world, after reading the book 'The Cayman Islands: Natural History and Biogeography,' during a holiday home on Little Cayman. One of the intriguing things about C. nanus is its colorful and enigmatic history in the scientific literature. The snail was first described in 1888 by Charles Johnson Maynard, an eccentric zoologist and professional specimen collector. A species that is confined to an island, as C. nanus is, can rapidly become much smaller in size when natural selection favors little individuals that thrive with limited resources. This biological phenomenon, known as island dwarfing, is fairly common among mammals and birds. The rarest snail in the world is also rare in institutions. Only four museums in the world have specimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages454-457
Number of pages4
Volume99
No6
Specialist publicationAmerican Scientist
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011

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Holiday Home
Birds
Resources
Mammals
History
Collectors
Natural Selection

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

Cite this

Shipman, P. L. (2011). The rarest snail in the world. American Scientist, 99(6), 454-457.
Shipman, Patty Lee. / The rarest snail in the world. In: American Scientist. 2011 ; Vol. 99, No. 6. pp. 454-457.
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Shipman, PL 2011, 'The rarest snail in the world' American Scientist, vol. 99, no. 6, pp. 454-457.

The rarest snail in the world. / Shipman, Patty Lee.

In: American Scientist, Vol. 99, No. 6, 01.11.2011, p. 454-457.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

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Shipman PL. The rarest snail in the world. American Scientist. 2011 Nov 1;99(6):454-457.