How Do ‘Killer Snails’ Kill Their Victims?

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12 Views Updated: Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - 4:43pm
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Conus pennaceus

Credit: Jay Rasgorshek

Picture the common garden snail, peacefully oozing along a branch to find some leaves to nibble on. But it’s a much different picture with some marine snails, like the cone snail. This seemingly innocuous creature is designed to kill, quickly striking its prey and eating an entire fish in one gulp.

Intrigued? Learn from researchers as they document “killer snails” in action and study the proteins that these predatory snails use to subdue their prey. You’re going to see how cone snails hunt prey in the wild, create your own snail model to visualize the structures they use for predation, and study some of the peptide proteins used by snails to paralyze their prey.

So, put on your wetsuit, mask, and flippers, grab your waterproof camera, and get ready to explore!
Teachers, you can find the full resource here on Science Friday's website.

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Lesson tags: 
Advanced Placement (AP)
Creative Commons License: 
Attribution Non-commercial NoDerivative CC (BY-NC-ND)