08. Mud Snails

What are those little clumps of mud doing in the movie clip above? It looks like they're crawling along the creek bank. In reality, those clumps of mud are mud snails, and they're crawling along looking for food. If the mud snail smells a dead fish, it will slide over to it and start to eat. Mud snails are one of the first steps in the decomposer food chain of the salt marsh and begin the process of breaking down detritus into smaller particles. Without the decomposers, dead plants and animals would just pile up. Instead, the decomposers break down these big materials and release them back into the food chain as small molecules that the producers, the plants, can use.

Mud Snails