Rare Snail Shell-Shocked As He Loses Out On Love

First Posted: May 19, 2017 05:40 AM EDT

Unlike most snails, Jeremy has a shell that spirals in an anti-clockwise direction. While this might seem to be a random quirk for humans, for Jeremy, it has a different effect altogether. It means he cannot mate with majority of the snails' world population.

Professor Angus Davison, from the University of Nottingham, took Jeremy into his own care and launched a search last year to find him a possible mate. Jeremy, he said, is literally one in a million.

In November, Jeremy finally found love when a snail enthusiast introduced him to Lefty, from Suffolk. Lefty, like Jeremy, has the rare anti-clockwise shell. Then there is Tomeu, another left-coiling shell from Majorca, Spain.

Unfortunately, for Jeremy, reported that Lefty and Tomeu got together instead, leaving him in the dust. Today, Jeremy will have to share parenting duties with Lefty and Tomeu and their 170 offspring. Jeremy cannot mate with any of them when they grow up, either. It is because all of them coil the opposite way -- clockwise, like most other snails.

Live Science reported that this is not entirely peculiar because of the "maternal to zygotic transition," which means the female eggs can influence the growth of their offspring, especially in the first few cell divisions. Professor Davison believes that Lefty's mother probably have gene variants from lefty DNA and passed it on to her babies. However, Lefty may be a heterozygote, which means that she has at least one lefty (sinistral) gene and one righty (dextral) gene.

As for Jeremy, Professor Davison believes he will get to mate at some point. Even though he is not getting quite the action they wanted for him, he has been doing a lot better and healthier since they first found him, which is already a good thing on its own. Davison is not yet giving up on searching potential partners for him, and hopefully, another response would finally give Jeremy a happy ever after.

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