Episode 32 – Geography Cone Snail: A Diabetical Evil

“…and today we’re talking about a snail that would leave a trail of pale dales, if it were to go to a shell collecting conventional in a town full of handsy guys name dale.”


Sea snail with a cylindrical shell. The shell has a base pinkish white color with brownish red splotches that form thick broken bands. The snails visible foot is also blotchy with brown, yellow, and tan colorations. Like fake harvest time corn decorations. A proboscis protrudes from the side opposite the Apical side (spiral part). The proboscis sheaths a sinister tooth which can shoot out unsuspecting feesh.

Measure up

Length – 4 inches (10 cm) to 6 inches (15 cm) in length – Average 5 inches – How many microzooplanktons, the smallest zooplankton, go into a cone snail? 127,000 zooplankton

Shell Size – 43 mm and 166 mm – 105 mm (4.1 in) average – How many cone snail shells go into the height of One Shell Plaza, the sky scraping headquarters of the Shell Oil Company without the antenna? – 2093 shells

Where they at?

Oooh they errywhere.

Including the Red Sea, in the Indian Ocean off Chagos, Réunion, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique and Tanzania, Reefs in the indo-pacific regions, and Australia. Not Hawaii (too touristy). It prefers shallow reefs and settles in the sandy sediments.

Hunting and Venom

Preys on small fish by shooting at them with their proboscis tooth harpoon. The tooth shoots out telescopically and injects the prey with a crazy cocktail of death. Most conesmin have scary venom but the Geography Cone Snail’s venom is powerful enough to kill a people. In fact, it has killed more than 30 humans. The venom is estimated to be able to kill a 150 lb person with just 0.136 mg (22 times lighter than a snowflake). It has caused paralysis with much less of the toxin. The venom is made up of between 100-200 different toxic chemicals. However, only 15-20 are used when hunting. The rest are reserved for defense. The venom also has a powerful opioid-like proteins, which is in painkillers like morphine drugs like heroin. In high doses, opioids can stop your breathing.

These proteins are 10,000 times more powerful than morphine. Currently, there is a synthetic opioid on the market called carfentanil that is used to treat elephants and will quickly kill most people. HOWEVER, the protein’s in cone snail venom are highly selective, which means they might be that powerful without the addictive and dangerous side effects of other opioids. I doubt it, though. We don’t fully understand why opioids stop breathing or how they do it. If theses bind to opioids with such power, I bet they will cause dangerous overdose.