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The movement of the snail Littorina littoreaon the North Atlantic coast is poorly understood. Most research has concentrated on the vertical distribution of the snail, and suggests that it prefers the low intertidal zone where its food source is most plentiful. In the winter, this distribution is reinforced by a documented seaward migration of snails from the high intertidal zone in response to falling temperatures. From October 14, 2006 to January 22, 2007, I examined the individual movements and recovery of snails in response to the onset of winter. I proposed that falling water and air temperatures drive the majority of snail movement within the intertidal zone, and that water temperature had the greater effect. I also examined the possibility that, in addition to a seaward migration, winter weather patterns in the Gulf of Maine and their effect on the ocean may encourage the wintertime vertical distribution of snails. Finally, I examined the possibility that populations of snails in the comparatively inhospitable high intertidal zone may endure the winter if given access to proper resources.


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