Sunday, February 7, 2010

Northern Moon Snail (Lunatia heros)



Not common on all the beaches in Cape Breton, the moon snail is a delightful find, especially if it is still alive!  While birding in Glace Bay, came across this beauty!

Photo compliments of Little Sister!

Northern moon snails are found in moist sands and mud at low tide, and are members of the class Gastropoda. 
The word Gastropod comes from the Greek and means "stomach foot".

They feed on clams and other snails, and even other moon snails.
They plow under the sand in search of food
 by using their powerful foot.
When they've found their tasty treat,
 they drill a hole into it's shell,
 release digestive enzymes,
 and suck out the contents.
While beachcombing, if you find a shell washed ashore
with a nice, neat hole drilled through it,
 it is evidence of predation by a moon snail.

When breeding, the moon snail will construct a "collar" from saliva and sand to house its eggs.  
It's quite an intricate process,
and another amazing phenomenom of nature! 

I always delight in finding moon snail shells washed ashore,
and have amassed quite a collection of all sizes.
I never seem to be able to resist,
therefore, I never have quite enough!

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Thanks for stopping by!


5 comments:

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

KS: Neat shot of the snail, we don't have them on land where I live, only slugs and they aren't as cool. I thought it was the wrong post.

ksdoolittle said...

Thanks, FG! Glad you stopped by. ~ks

Natural Moments said...

I love that you are interested in the finer details of life and living. Everything has its place under the sun.

Stine in Ontario said...

This is a wonderful shot. LOVE it! And I enjoyed reading about the snail too. :)

sunnymama said...

That is a great shot! A cool little critter. :)