The inside is made of steel with an iridescent coating, giving the surface a shimmering quality like mother of pearl. A snail’s shell is built up of various minerals in the sea. Calcium and magnesium are two of the most important building blocks, and climate researchers are studying how snails build up their shells over time and what the chemical composition of the layers consists of. A snail builds its shell with a tiny layer every day. These “day rings” can provide a great deal of information, including the day’s temperature, which can be determined by measuring the magnesium content of the ring.
If we want to really gain insight into prehistoric climatology, the time rings of ancient sea snails take us significantly further back than ice cores and tree rings. By studying snails of the phylum Foraminifera, researchers have gazed into the biological event horizon more than 200 million years ago.
 Mud snail: Measures up to 6–7 mm. Description: The shell can vary from the horn-colored to a light bark brown, sometimes slightly transparent. At a distance, live mud snails often look like tiny black or grey dots. The soft tissue is white with dark spots or stripes. Depth: 0–20 m. Habitat: Mud snails prefer to live in soft seabeds, but in the Baltic they are also found on hard seabeds. Some mud snails can live in freshwater. Other: Mud snails tend to be noticeable because they (especially in muddy seabeds) can occur in huge numbers (tens of thousands per square meter). Taxonomy: It is often very difficult or even impossible to determine the species of mud snails. You have to look at the shape of the shell, pigmentation of the tentacles and mouth, the appearance of the radula and the shape of the reproductive organs. Mud snails are in the subclass Prosobranchia (meaning gills in front of the heart), class Gastropoda (meaning stomach-footed), phylum Mollusca.
ILLUSTRATION, SKETCH AND INSPIRATION
PRODUCTION AND INSTALLATION
Photos: Studio Bigert & Bergström