|Kingdom Animale | Phylum Mollusca | Class Gastropoda|
Only a few species of cone shells are highly dangerous to man. The most dangerous species are those that feed on fish. The geography cone is certainly the deadliest. All cones have a venom apparatus in which the radula teeth (modified into harpoon-like darts, right) are released, one at a time into the base of the muscular proboscis or trunk, together with some toxin from the venom sac. When the proboscis touches the prey, an instantaneous contraction of the muscles shoots out the dart, penetrating the tissue. Anyone picking up live cone shells should hence be very careful not to come in contact with the proboscis at the tapering end of the shell .
From A Guide to Seashore Life by Dr Leo W H Tan and Peter K L Ng
Published by the Singapore Science Centre and sponsored by BP
@Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research and Singapore Science Centre