Continuing from the previous two posts …
Carnivorous shells abound, but some herbivores are big and tough enough to survive – for instance, turbans. The turban below (left, Turbo militaris) is about the same size as its nemesis (right, Australian red triton, Charonia lampas) and has a massively thick, protective shell. So does the triton.
And to show the actual sizes …
Below, the triton animal emerges … a robust animal powers that strong, heavy shell. You can see the ‘eyes’ – light/dark detectors. Just below the bottom ‘eye’, you can see the groove in the shell through which the siphon emerges to detect the world.
Another red triton on the hunt – the siphon is at the top. It was unusual to see so many big ones on one day – we saw about seven.
Carnivorous shells can eat other carnivorous shells … it’s a shell-eat-shell world.
The shell below was tiny (about 1.5 cm) and pretty – another carnivore, but the big turbans are safe from this one.
All in all, it was a busy day for both creatures and amateur naturalists on the subtropical east coast of Australia.