A Deadly Snail

Yes, you read that title correctly… this is a very deadly snail in the cone snail family. While I was on my Timor Leste expedition with Blue Ventures, our hazardous marine creatures lecture included a section about cone snails… of course most people scoff at the idea of a snail being dangerous, but the toxins of many of these snails are indeed deadly. One day as I was sitting in about a foot or two of water putting my fins on to go get some photos and videos of the seagrass beds, I looked down and about a foot next to me was this beautifully patterned, large cone snail. I quickly checked the area for more, finished putting on my fins, and got some photos.

That “tube” you see sticking out at the front of the snail (the right side) is the proboscis that it uses both to “taste” the water as it hunts for prey as well as to “harpoon” its prey with the venomous barbed modified radula “tooth”.

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