How killer cone snails kill

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  • Published on:  Sunday, August 9, 2015
  • There’s a saying in the sea, 'If it’s a cone, leave it alone'. Although they look pretty harmless cone nails are pretty deadly. They're a chemical making factory that travels around an a giant sticky foot firing venomous harpoons filled a deadly cocktail that paralyses their prey. This cocktail essentially kill their victims half a dozen different ways. Once the prey has been immobilised it is swallowed whole.

    Different cone snails have different venom depending on their diet i.e. invertebrates cf vertebrates. Understandably humans are only susceptible to the venom from the vertebrates.

    Scientists have found a compound in the venom that is more potent than morphine. Consider this..A single cone shell can contain over 100 conopeptides x multiple this out over 500 cone snails species and that’s 50,000 compounds to investigate for medicine. Imagine the potential……That’s just the nature of things.

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    Thanks to James Cook University for their support with this video.
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