Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Escargot Go Go!

File this under "Dinner run amok": What was once a gourmet meal is now invading every nook and cranny of Brazil, according to this report from National Geographic News. Giant African snails (Achatina fulica) were introduced to Brazil in a failed attempt to find a cheaper alternative for the garden snails typically used as escargot. Scientists have already declared eradication impossible, and concerned that the African snails could be spreading parasites to native mollusks, are calling for some kind of control program. The introduction appears to be tied to a marketing effort that occurred during the late 1980s, meaning that the snails went from rare to invasive in less than two decades.

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