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Cone Snail

Page history last edited by Ali Rosenoff 9 years, 10 months ago

Cone Snail

By: Ali Rosenoff


A cone snail is an extremely toxic creature, it may look beautiful to look at from the outside but it can kill you from the inside. The venom inside of it is extremely deadly to anything that is alive. The cone snail is dangerous to many sea creatures such as fish and algae but it is also capable of paralyzing or even killing humans. Cone snails are apart of the molluscs classification with other sea creatures such as clams, octopi and squids. When it comes to food, cone snails divide into three groups: piscivores, molluscivores and vermivores. There are around 500-600 species of cone snails around the world. Cone snails are 0.5 inches to 8.5 inches long. Even though they are small, they can take down big things. Just like normal snails, cone snails move slowly but they have a long proboscis. The proboscis is where the venom comes from and injects it into its prey. 



Most cone snails live in shallow water near coral reefs, hidden in the sand or near piles of rubble. They are usually found in warm and tropical seas and oceans worldwide but they are less common to be found in deep water. Cone snails live in many different places put some of them are the Indian and Pacific oceans, the Carribbean and Red seas, and along the coast of Florida. 

Coral Reef


Predator adaptations:

Since there are three types of cone snails, (piscivores, molluscivores and vermivores), they all eat something different but many of them are very specific in what they eat. Piscivores are cone snails that eat fish such as clownfish and angelfish. But there are two different types of hunters hook and line hunter and net hunters. Hook and line hunters use their proboscis to inject the fish with venom and then reel them in like they're on a fishing line. Net hunters open their mouths very wide and gather many fish inside of it, then it eats them all. Molluscivores are cone snails that eat other snails like them but some cone snails eat different kinds of snails. Vermivores are cone snails that eat worms and they inject the venom into the animal somewhat like piscivores. 



Prey adaptations:

Cone snails do not have many predators since they have venom inside of them. One predator cone snails have are crabs such as hermit crabs and horseshoe crabs. Crabs can battle with them and use their claws to try to crack open their shells. If their shells break, cone snails will most probably loose the battle and get killed. The reason why cone snails do not have many predators is because they have clever ways to defend themselves. They can use their proboscis to kill the creature or they can use their hard shell to protect themselves from being eaten. 


Symbiotic Interactions:

Cone snails do not interact with many creatures but they do interact with coral polyp. The symbiotic interaction they have with them is called commensalism. Commensalism is a symbiotic relationship when one organism benefits and the other is unaffected. In this case, the coral polyp is unaffected since the cone snail uses it as a home. 


Species comparison: Snail


Both creatures have shells and they are both relatively slow in movement. Cone snails are technically marine snails, they are snails but they live under water. They are in the same classification, they are molluscivores, and both of them are carnivores. Neither of them live in groups of creatures like them. 



Cone snails and snails aren't that different but they have several differences. Cone snails live underwater or near water when snails live on land. A cone snails shell is not as breakable as a snail's shell; their shells are more delicate. Cone snails have a proboscis but snails do not. There are around 500 species of cone snails and there are around 116 500 species of snails living throughout the world. 


SnailGeographic Cone



Geographic Cone Snails. 1996-2013. National Geographic. 28 May 2013.



Ashley Chadwick. The Cone Snail. 2013. The Cone Snail Copyright. 26 May 2013.



Conus. 25 February 2013. Wikipedia. 26 May 2013.



Cone Snail. 2013. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. 27 May 2013.  



Snail. 2 June 2013. Wikipedia. 3 June 2013. 



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