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#268 Hotwater Physa

Critically Endangered

Around the World in 80 Days - Day 60

We are nearing the end of our trip around the world, just 20 days left. These snails live in just one very small area of British Columbia, Canada. They stay along the edge of two small pools and part of a stream in a hot-springs complex there. The water temperatures range from about 74°F to 104°F. People using the hotsprings are the biggest threat to them. People with sunscreen, bug spray, soap, lotion, etc. getting in the water ruins the water for the snails. Similar to how some places require reef-safe sunscreen now. Changing the flow of their water in their areas could wipe out huge swaths of snails as well. These are a small snail, with their shell averaging about 2/10 of an inch long when full grown. They eat algae and microbes. Interestingly, unlike most snails (90% of them), the majority if not all of these snails are "left-handed" with their shell spiraling out toward the left. I think their faces are especially cute because they have these rather sad looking eyes at the base of what descriptions called tentacles rather than antennae.

I would love to go camping right now. It is rainy, but I like camping in soggy weather. You really have to be fine with being damp if you live in the Pacific NW. Probably what I will have to do is just send my kids out camping with my husband though. Our terrier loathes car rides, and because he's blind and terrified of everything it would be very stressful for him unless he was pretty much attached to me at all times. Our beagle-corgi mix is so anti-social and protective she would be trying to keep any living creature away from us. If we were in one of the typical drive-up, park, and pitch a tent next to the picnic table type camping there would be too many people around. If we go where we have to backpack in, the terrier would have a horrible time. He won't take a harness because they are scary to him, so I would worry that he might just walk straight off a cliff and hang himself with his collar. I am a firm believer that you do whatever you have to in order to make sure that your pets' short lives are the best they can be. That can mean that life for me isn't exactly what I'd like, but they aren't here forever and I can deal with no camping for however much longer they live. I don't think that my husband and kids should have to stay home though either. We might try a bit of a short meander into the woods and just be extra careful to block the terrier in so he can't get near the edge of a hill and risk falling. On regular walks he will get stubborn and walk in a seemingly random direction he seems sure is correct, and then will walk right off a curb. If you try to make him go the right direction he sort of overloads and will just sit, refusing to move. Most dogs do much better when they are blind than he does. If he had any self-confidence whatsoever it would have been better. He's generally happy though, especially when there is a snack.

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