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Snails fitted with heart monitors help to detect air pollution

Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP - Getty Images

Three of the six Achatina snails fitted with heart monitors and motion sensors at the Vodokanal state utilities company on the outskirts of Saint Petersburg, Russia on Jan. 27. The snails help to monitor air pollution from an incinerator that burns sewage residue.

Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP - Getty Images

An Achatina snail fitted with a heart monitor and motion sensors, which are used to monitor pollution from an incinerator that burns sewage residue at the Vodokanal state utilities company, eats lettuce on Jan. 27.

With a job like that, they definitely deserve a bit of lettuce! 

From AFP: A Russian waterworks is using six snails as an innovative way to monitor pollution from a incinerator that burns sewage. The Achatina snails, which can reach 20 centimetres in length and are widespread in Sub-Saharan Africa, were chosen because "they have lungs and breathe air like humans," the Vodokanal state utilities company said. The snails have been fitted with heart monitors and motion sensors while breathing smoke from the plant.