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Giant Snails’ Century-Old Shells Recorded Monsoon Rainfall

giant african land snail
The giant African land snail can grow larger than the size of an adult human hand, as seen here. The species, which has invaded habitats in many parts of the world, may help scientists retrace the rainfall history of monsoons across the Indian subcontinent. Credit: Paul Brown/Rex Features via Associated Press

Researchers explored past precipitation in India using shells from very large land snails collected there in 1918 and preserved in a British museum

September 25, 2017 — The shells of a large, invasive snail in India can provide exceptionally fine grained records of past precipitation in the region, a new study finds. By measuring isotope ratios in shells from some of these snails from as long ago as 1918, the researchers have demonstrated that they could reconstruct the subseasonal rainfall rate of past monsoon seasons. Continue reading Giant Snails’ Century-Old Shells Recorded Monsoon Rainfall