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Variations in the water content, water loss and nitrogenous waste products of the edible giant land snail Archachatina marginata were investigated. The water content of the food component of the snails was also determined. The percentage water content of the active snails at 48.37%–51.74% was higher than that of the inactive snails at 30.31%–39.74%. The water loss in inactive snails was between 3.05%–15.35%, which was lower than that of the active snails between 6.32%–27.02%. There was no ammonia in the haemolymph of A. marginata, however, traces of urea and a large quantity of uric acid were observed. Analysis of the kidney contents revealed only the presence of urea. Qualitative analysis of the urine sample showed that only uric acid was present. It was observed that tomatoes had the highest water content while pawpaw leaves had the lowest. The highest organic matter was obtained from orange and the lowest was from the corn shaft. A positive correlation existed between the length and weight relationship of active (R2 ═ 0.708) and inactive (R2 ═ 0.698) snails. However a negative correlation existed between the weight and percentage water content of the snails; with similar results observed between the weight and percentage water loss. In relation to previous findings on the life-cycle strategies as well as nutritional and reproductive physiology of A. marginata, the results are discussed in the context of the physical adaptations of this species for survival in dry conditions.
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