Slug Eating Food Is Caught Up Close On Camera
Every now and then we get to watch a video so otherworldly, but so well made it would be a crime to miss it. This video comes to us courtesy of that scope of nature that zooms way down to the macro lens. Somebody had the bright idea to make a video of a slug eating from a piece of cat food.
Relativity is everything in this video. A piece of cat food is but a nugget to us, but to the slug it’s like eating straight from the shawarma rotisserie. Yes, slugs are disgusting little vermin that decimate our crops. There are many remedies for this, including saucers of beer (slugs check in, but they don’t check out), to sprinkling salt on the naked snails, which melts them.
But to see a slug so up close, doing only what every other creature does to survive, i.e. eating, personalizes it somewhat. If the video was only a little longer, showing the different angles, then we could see the many body parts and how they work in unison. Look at those telescopic eye stalks, with the tiny pupils. What does the slug see? What does it think when it detects danger? The camera may be so beyond its limited ability to process its environment that it has no clue it could be crushed at any moment. Even if it did sense danger, surely the slug on a doorstep doesn’t have the speed or maneuverability to move out of mortal danger.
The mouth parts, too, are amazing. We think of the slug as an amorphous blob of muscle, excreting slimy mucous wherever it goes. Truly only another slug could love it. So how does it chew its food? The first thing we know about slugs is that they don’t just eat your garden; they will eat just about anything that’s potentially chewable. In this case, it’s cat food. The slug’s jaw, called a radula, is more like a rasp with thousands of microscopic teeth. It essentially does what a wood craftsman does when smoothing a piece of wood with sandpaper. Under a microscope the slug’s teeth look dangerous, almost shark-like. Of course, once you pull out from under the spell of the microscope, we have nothing to fear from the slug.
Slugs can also be heard while eating, and if the video had a sensitive microphone, we might hear the impolite crunching and scratching sounds of this slug eating with its mouth open. The videographer makes some excited sounds, and we get the feeling the slug is onto him. One eye stalk warily turns toward the camera. We can barely fathom what thoughts its tiny mind churns out.
This is some pretty cool footage, and it’s great that camera phones are getting so much better, allowing for more creative experimentation. There are untold opportunities waiting for imaginative explorations of the tiny, and the microscopic. They are a lot of fun to watch, and highly educational, as well. So, don’t be a slug, get out there and make videos!