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Cone Snail

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Cone Snail

Post by sujin007 on Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:46 pm

The cone snail’s harpoon is a modification of the radula, an organ in molluscs which acts as both tongue and teeth. The harpoon is hollow and barbed, and is attached to the tip of the radula inside the snail’s throat.

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Re: Cone Snail

Post by sujin007 on Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:47 pm

When the snail detects a prey animal nearby, it turns its mouth, a long flexible tube called a proboscis, towards the prey.

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Re: Cone Snail

Post by sujin007 on Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:49 pm

The harpoon is loaded with venom and, still attached to the radula, is fired from the proboscis into the prey by a powerful muscular contraction.

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Re: Cone Snail

Post by sujin007 on Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:50 pm

The venom paralyzes small fish almost instantly. The snail then retracts the radula, drawing the subdued prey into the mouth.

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Re: Cone Snail

Post by sujin007 on Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:52 pm

The cone snail’s bite is similar to a bee sting, but the larger species are responsible for 30 known cases of human death.
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