Leading scientists have revealed that the group, generally described as the SNP, are actually capable of changing their appearance dependent on their physical environment.
This capacity for ‘single nucleotide polymorphism’ means that they can take on, through a process of potentially rapid evolution, the characteristics of their vicinity. In towns they become darker to act as camouflage to their natural predators, in coastal areas they can become yellow to blend in with sand dunes and in other areas they can take on a pink hue to represent the local political flavour.
This trait is particularly prevalent in the strain of snails called Cepaea, which can be found in most habitats in Europe, including Scotland. Genetic scientists are looking in to this ‘polymorphic’ quality of the SNP (pronounced snip) in a piece of research call the evolution megalab.
At the time of going to press no spokesperson for the SNP was available for comment as they were too busy blending into their latest environment.