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After sniffing out worms and other prey on the seafloor with its tubelike siphon, this toxic mollusk extends a sharp, spearlike tooth at the end of an organ called a proboscis. When the fang finds its mark, the cone snail injects a neurotoxin that induces immediate muscle spasms and quick death. The same fate may await humans who encounter especially venomous species of cone snails, though deaths are rare.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|