Jeremy the rare lefty snail caught in a love triangle is left

first_imgBut what next for Jeremy and his potential to become a father after being left on the shelf? Researchers are still seeking a suitable partner for him, but Jeremy is said to have embraced his role as a “loveable uncle” and has been observed playing with the baby snails.While he remains on the market for a mate, Jeremy is said to have been “remarkably unphotogenic” lately and will not pose for pictures.Perhaps he just does not want to come out of his shell. They are seeking to study a gene that also affects body asymmetry in other animals – including humans.Research using these snails could offer the chance to develop our understanding of how organs are placed in the body and why this process can sometimes go wrong. Jeremy in his role as loveable uncle “The irony is, it’s like that thing where maybe you introduce your best friend to a girl you’re interested in,” Dr Angus Davison, a biologist at the University of Nottingham who is also Jeremy’s keeper, told Radio 4’s Today programme. “The two snails got together.”Snails mate face-to-face, sliding past each other on the right hand side so their genitalia can meet.To copulate, “lefty” snails must beat one-in-a million odds to find a mate with compatible sex organs.Jeremy has had the benefit of the match-making skills of researchers, who want to study the genetics of left-sidedness and continue to hunt for a partner for Jeremy so they can study his offspring. Love is a hard game to play when you are a rare “lefty” snail.Jeremy the garden snail’s rare genetic mutation means his shell spirals anti-clockwise – leaving his sex organs on the wrong side.Researchers at the University of Nottingham sought to help the sinistral mutant in finding a suitable mate by launching a worldwide hunt.center_img But the search has spectacularly backfired – after Jeremy found himself on the losing side of a gastropod love triangle.At first, things looked promising when two potential left-coiling partners were found for him by a snail enthusiast in Ipswich and farmer in Mallorca.But it has since emerged that Jeremy has been overlooked by his potential lovers. Instead of mating with Jeremy, the other “lefty” snails – called Lefty and Tomeau – have paired up and procreated together.Their first batch of eggs together was laid in April and now a total of 170 babies, which are each right-coiled, have been born. Jeremy in his role as loveable uncleCredit:BBC Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img

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