London: Snails can hit a top speed of one metre an hour, travelling the length of an average garden in a night, a new study has found.
Exeter University scientists also discovered that they even move in convoy, piggy-backing on other snails` slime to save energy, the Mirror reported.
They examined the habits of 450 garden snails recording their movements using LED lights, UV paints and time-lapse photography.
This is the first time snails have been studied in this way, creating some unexpectedly spectacular images.
The findings revealed how snails will travel distances of up to 25 metres in a 24-hour period, and seek out areas of shelter, such as long grass, trees or objects, including dogs` toys, left in the garden overnight.
It is thought that a snail could use up to 30 percent of its energy in slime production alone, the study found.
The findings are published by the Royal Horticultural Society.