Shells & Coral

Another highlight of the trip is picking shells and the fossil of the corals. It's hard to find one with good condition from the shore as they are mostly damaged frim the sun exposure or broken while carriedto the shore by the waves.

Because all cone snails are venomous and capable of "stinging" humans, live ones should never be handled, as their venomous sting will occur without warning and can be fatal. The species most dangerous to humans are the larger cones, which prey on small bottom-dwelling fish; the smaller species mostly hunt and eat marine worms. Cone snails use a hypodermic needle-like modified radula tooth and a venom gland to attack and paralyze their prey before engulfing it. The tooth, which is sometimes likened to a dart or a harpoon, is barbed and can be extended some distance out from the head of the snail, at the end of the proboscis.

Cone snail venoms are mainly peptides. The venoms contain many different toxins that vary in their effects; some are extremely toxic. The sting of small cones is no worse than a bee sting, but the sting of a few of the larger species of tropical cone snails can be serious, occasionally even fatal to humans.
Leave a Comment
Sign up for a free account or Sign in to post a comment.