The common banded snail is the subject of a new project by the UK’s Open University. Amateur biologists from all over Europe will collect all the data they can about the common garden snails. The resulting contemporary snapshot will be compared to the huge extant database of records on banded snail populations, in an effort to prove that the creatures have noticeably evolved over the past 40 years in response to changes in climate and predator populations. For more info on the project, awesomely titled The Evolution Megalab, check out the official website here.

One would think the study would honor the lowly gastropod, but the seemingly benign study does put our slimy little friends in a bit of a dangerous predicament. If the snail does demonstrate evidence of evolving over the past few decades, for example, it will almost certainly be marked for death by the ruthless and highly trained assassins of The Discovery Institute.