Plants and Animals

These Surfing Sea Snails Catch Food with Gooey Mucuous Nets and Can Even Take On Crabs

These Surfing Sea Snails Catch Food with Gooey Mucuous Nets and Can Even Take On Crabs

When you imagine marine hunters from the vast ocean, you probably imagined hunters at the top like sharks and killer whales but some deadly hunters have more humble backgrounds. Marine snails do not appear to be all a threat to the untrained eye but they have evolved to travel, feed and hunt in some strange and great way. 

The sea snail Olivella semistriata is a suspension-feeding, swash-surfing snail found on tropical sandy beaches in the eastern Pacific. They spend most of their time in inland areas, where altered tides flow and move away from the coast. Their habitat here has inspired an innovative passive feeding technique that extends from the snail’s snail’s foot to the mucus-splitting two-winged joint. Once stretched, they form two gauze nets that filter out tidal currents and tiny food from flowing water. What else are you hungry for without taking goo-net for the filter?

The intertidal zone offers the opportunity to feed some great filters, but it also puts some risk from predators to prevent them from being driven. As a great baroque, these snails can immerse themselves completely in wet sand using two metaphorical flaps to pull them under. They also like to get old when they take out the nets. If the snails want to get some more distance, they can quickly exit the sea to make these flaps work differently. By stretching their feet alongside them, they can basically sway the waves and pump these flaps to gather more speed until they reach a better place.

One of O. semistriata’s most feared enemies is actually another type of marine snail, the Aragonia propagule. These killer snails rely on investigative predators that come in contact with their prey to detect it.  These are also opportunists and will basically try to get into anything that goes their way. They can sensitize to chemical changes as well as identify the victim through physical contact and their real skills are revealed once the victim is identified.

O semistriata is one of A. propatula’s are the most common food, although they will also eat crustaceans, including Hermes crabs. When the prey can be identified, the snail starts itself from what it catches and basically wraps its body in a fleshy ball. Unfortunately inside this ball, the snail will release digestive enzymes that break down the prey trapped inside. As soon as it happens, a. propagule begins to splash in the sand, sealing the fate of its prey in the sand and its mucous burden by blocking it by the potato. So, it seems that sea snails are more agile than the land above them. Find out here about one of the most dangerous in the world.