RIP Aldabra Banded Snail

August 9, 2007 at 10:43 am (frightening things) (, )

The untimely death of the Aldabra banded snail may be the first extinction caused by global warming.

This purple snail — the Aldabra banded snail — is a resident of the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean and is easily recognizable because of its conspicuous purplish blue shell. Though it was once easy to find 3 decades ago, [Oxford University biologist Justin Gerlach] says that now “it has been impossible to find. The last one was found in 1997 and it was collected simply because the person who collected it thought it was strange and didn’t know what it was.” Gerlach believes the species went extinct during the late 1990s following a series of unusually long and hot summers that killed off a large number of younger snails.

He reached this conclusion after observing that the smaller shells once commonly picked up by collectors were vanishing with the advent of the longer, hotter summers — a phenomenon he attributes to global warming. If his intuition is correct, that would make the Aldabra banded snail the first climate change related casualty.

The poor mollusk doesn’t even have a Wikipedia entry, and I couldn’t find any pictures of it. The one in the Treehugger post is just some other purple snail. Seriously. That is how fucking extinct it is. So extinct that in the article discussing it’s extinction, there isn’t even a picture of it available. They had to use an image of one of its more fortunate cousins to try to illustrate the lovely little creature that has been coldly erased from its home planet.

This is fucked up.



  1. RandomNigel said,

    I was thinking the same thing while reading it.
    RIP, indeed.

  2. The Last Aldabra Banded Snail (80P on YouTube) « Our Descent Into Madness said,

    […] movies/video/clips, 80 Proof, non-human animals, death, art) I’ve been so upset about the extinction of the Aldabra banded snail, I decided to make a movie about it. You could watch it if you want. Here it […]

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