Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mesmerizing Moon Snail



During a walk on the beach today we discovered a mesmerizing moon snail. Lewis moon snails, polinices lewisii, are large predatory snails which feed on clams by drilling holes into their shells to secure a meal. It was interesting to watch this large specimen, plowing into the sand with surprising strength and speed. After watching for a few minutes we let him go about his business on the shore.

16 comments:

Anna said...

Fascinating---and fun that you should run across such a ugly beauty. You find the best stuff.

Nancy J. Bond said...

A mesmerizing, gelatinous blob. :) I've never seen one. The shell is pretty at least. :)

ChrisND said...

A mesmerizing maritime marine mollusk ;-)

...okay maybe I am reading the blogs a little too late, but it is interesting.

Jean Bradbury said...

I have never seen one either. Not even a shell. What a find!
-Jean

patientgardener said...

Well you learn something new everyday - I didnt know there were snails that fed on clams

kompoStella said...

mesmerizing & fascinating indeed! i have never seen a snail that big... never even knew they existed in XL.
thanks for sharing these great pix!

rowena said...

Now that is a HUGE snail! Very interesting post, and I am certainly glad that the garden snails, or lumache as we call them, are not of that dimension. Otherwise my plants would be 86'd!!

Niels Plougmann said...

eeeuuuwww - as if garden snails and slugs were not bad enough! Can't even go to the beach anymore! Whoever said snails did not like coarse sand should see this picture LOL!

Well Perhaps they taste good? Try it 20 min. in the oven with garlic butter!

chey said...

Thank you all so much for your fun comments:). It was an impressive snail, as far as snails go. I was not brave enough to hold it in my hand as it would have been much more than a handful. Niels, I'm sure if it had been edible it would have fed my whole family, and then some:).

Good Acres said...

Wow, I've never seen one and the shot of the snail next to the crocs really gives a sense of its size!

spookydragonfly said...

Amazing! I realy enjoyed this post...have never heard of or seen a snail such as this!

Weed Whackin' Wenches said...

So how do they drill holes in the clams? The greenish color is something special--beautiful in an eerie sort of way.
--Curmudgeon

chey said...

Curmudgeon~ The moon snail drills the clam shell with it's radula, a toothed ribbon in it's mouth used for cutting and chewing food. It releases digestive juices and sucks the clam contents out of the shell. I've seen clam shells with the typical hole caused by this process, however never knew that it was the snails that had created them.

I agree, the shell is very beautiful, and a little eerie:).

Philip Bewley said...

That is just incredible. I love what you have shown!!!!
:)
Philip

The Hunky Gardener said...

Hello fellow Canadian gardener. Great blog. I didn't even realize such large snails existed!

Cindy said...

Oh my, that is one huge and slimy snail! I do not know if I could have gotten that close to it! Very interesting though. I will have to show my boys these pictures as I am sure they will find it cool.