No surprise that in love, garden snails like
to take it slow. But this isn’t some basic boy-meets-girl
story. Snails are hermaphrodites. They have both boy and girl parts. You might think that makes life simpler. But not… so… fast. Snails are deaf and basically blind. Their eyes really only see shadows. So snails rely on taste and smell to find
a partner. They just follow the slime. Gliding along, until… Bada-BOOM. They get pretty cozy… touching, tasting,
smelling, for hours… But these snails are about to have a battle
of the sexes. Even though they’re both both sexes. The first shot is a secret love dart. Before the real action starts, they stab each
other with these tiny spears that are normally hidden inside their bodies. Different species have different shaped darts. There it is. The dart delivers hormones that will stimulate
it to accept sperm. It’s made of calcium carbonate, the same
as the snail’s shell…hard and sharp, like a needle. Things really heat up from there. That thing is called the everted atrium. It’s like a rubber glove slowly turning
inside out…until… Yep, that’s exactly what you think it is. Once they get lined up, the snails swap sperm. You take some of mine, I take some of yours. But this battle isn’t over. The snails’ bodies go on the attack, killing
most of the other snail’s sperm before they get to the eggs. See, whether you’re one sex—or both—fatherhood
is easy. It’s the cheapest way to produce offspring. Motherhood, that’s hard work. So both snails want to be more father than
they are mother. That’s where the love dart comes in. Its hormones help protect the sperm, so more
of them survive in the other snail’s body. The snail that fires the best shot has the
edge in passing on his…her….their genes. In about two weeks… the snails lay eggs
underground. Those are the baby snails moving around inside. They hatch and eat what’s left of their
egg. Before heading out into the world. Very slowly, of course. Hey guys, It’s Lauren. Thanks for watching this Deep Look! Now, our partner PBS Digital Studios wants
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