Cone snails disturbed by CO2

This 2012 video says about itself:

Killer Cone Snails | National Geographic

You’d think a snail wouldn’t be much threat in the sea, but the cone snail proves deadly to unsuspecting fish.

From Science News:

Cone snails wander in circles, lose focus with boosted CO2

by Elizabeth Eaton

5:00pm, February 2, 2017

Cone snails are normally stealthy hunters, but they become clumsy and unfocused in water with increased levels of carbon dioxide.

Oceans absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. As atmospheric CO2 levels rise, those in the oceans do too, changing the chemistry of the seawater.

Cone snails (Conus marmoreus) that spent several weeks in water dosed to simulate CO2 levels expected at the turn of the century had trouble catching their favorite snack, jumping snails. Only 10 percent caught and ate their prey, compared with 60 percent of snails living in water with current CO2 levels, researchers report February 1 in Biology Letters.

While the higher-CO2 snails were more active in general, they moved in “wiggly lines, and some even went in a circle,” says study coauthor and marine biologist Sue-Ann Watson of James Cook University in Townsville, Australia.

In a previous study, Watson showed that jumping snails were less able to escape attacking cone snails when exposed to higher levels of CO2. Together, the studies are the first to show the effects of ocean acidification on the behavior of both invertebrate predators and their prey, Watson says.

By researching deadly cone snail venom, researchers hope to find solutions to tough medical problems and diseases: here.

Gory, freaky, cool: Marine [cone] snail venom could improve insulin for diabetic patients: here.

With the use of ultra-high-speed videography, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Associate Professor Emanuel Azizi and colleagues from Occidental College Los Angeles have shed light on the hunting mechanism of the cone snail Conus catus. Published online in Current Biology — Cell Press, the researchers identified the snail’s hydraulically propelled feeding structure as the quickest movement among mollusks by an order of magnitude: here.

Conotoxins are bioactive peptides found in the venom that marine cone snails produce for prey capture and defense. They are used as pharmacological tools to study pain signalling and have the potential to become a new class of analgesics. To date, more than 10,000 conotoxin sequences have been discovered. Associate Professor Markus Muttenthaler from the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Vienna and his colleagues from the University of Queensland in Australia are experts in the field of venom drug discovery and have now provided an overview on the status quo of conotoxin research in the top-of-its-class journal “Chemical Reviews.” In another recently published study, the researchers have furthermore developed fluorescently labelled conotoxin versions to visualise pain receptors in cells: here.

2 thoughts on “Cone snails disturbed by CO2

  1. Pingback: Most dangerous marine animals, video | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Prehistoric South Africans cooked vegetables | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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