A magnet can pick up what species or animal?


A magnet can pick up a variety of things, including nails, tacks, and paper clips. But if you are magnet fishing and drop your magnet line in the water can a magnet pick up any species? Answer is yes, a magnet can pick up certain species of animals like the scaly foot snail. Intrigued to know more? Read on…

Magnets can pick what material?

A magnet is an object that has a magnetic field. This field is a force that can pull other ferromagnetic materials, like iron, toward it. Magnets are only attracted to a few types of materials, like iron and steel. They are not attracted to most other materials, like wood, plastic, or aluminum.

A magnet can attract animal that have high ferromagnetic material like iron in them.

Why Animals and Humans need Iron?

Iron is an element that is indispensable for most living organisms on the Earth. The trees, plants, outside your house require iron to be able to persist as much as you, your pets, or the microorganisms living around you do. An average human being has about 4 grams of iron in their body. Animals including human beings typically obtain iron by eating iron-containing foods.

Does this mean our fridge magnets will stick to our face? Nope. Not unless you are this magneto kid.

Magneto Kid – The Mirror

Humans and animals do have iron in them but very little for magnets to cause an effect.

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A magnet can pick up what species ? – Scaly foot snail

However, there is one specific species of snails that a magnet can pick up – it is called the scaly foot snail.

Watch: More about the Scaly Foot Snail

The snail known as the scaly foot snail dwells in the depths of the Indian Ocean retreats at hydrothermal vents. They live in depths between 7900 and 9500 feet (2400 and 2900 meters) deep. Hydrothermal vents are typically openings in the sea floor through which heated, mineral-rich seawater percolates into the crust and is heated by underlying magma, reaching 750 degrees F or more, pouring out and bringing toxins with it.

Hydrothermal vent fluids contain high levels of sulfides and metals. The gastropod incorporates these materials into its shell structure.  Their shell has three layers.  It has a highly calcified inner layer, thick organic middle layer, and fused with granular iron sulfide outermost layer.

Scaly-foot snails in Hydrothermal vent

The structure of the three-layered shell dissipates mechanical energy. This makes it easier for the snail to stave off attacks by crabs that try to squeeze and crack their shell. The snail's foot is also unusual because it is armored in tough scales that are often mineralized with iron sulfide.

scaly foot snail - black and white
Black and White Scaly Foot Snail

Scaly foot snails were discovered only in 2001 hence scientists are not sure how they create this iron or why they need them. Right now they think the iron is created by the bacteria that lives on their snails. To make it more interesting there are 2 varieties of the scaly foot snails differentiated by their color – black and white that live in the same habitats. The difference in their color comes from the amount of iron content they have. They white variety has very little of the bacteria that create the iron and hence very little iron itself. The black scaly foot snails have very high iron content.

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In conclusion, scaly foot snails, especially black varieties are the only species that would stick to a magnet due to their extremely high iron content. But before you get you magnets out to catch a few of these snails remember they live below 7900 feet in extreme temperatures so get your well insulated submarines ready!

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