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Unexpected Deadly Beauty

The Geographic Cone Snail (Conus geographus) shows its siphon and proboscis. This snail is also humorously called “the cigarette snail” since if one stings you, you allegedly have time for one cigarette before dying.

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Geography cone, Conus geographus Because all Conus snails are venomous and capable of "stinging" humans, live ones should be handled with great care or preferably not at all. The species most dangerous to humans are the larger ones which prey on small bottom-dwelling fish.

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Fish-eating cone species [left to right] Conus striatus, Conus geographus, Conus tulipa, Conus magus. Bottom right Conus catus. (Longest specimen shown 130mm)

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Conus geographus Linnaeus, 1758 Geography cone, 129mm Conus geographus is the largest of the fish-eating cone shells and is also the most dangerous. Its venom has adapted to become powerful enough to quickly stun or kill a prey fish. It wouldn't do the cone much good if the fish were stung and escaped, only to die somewhere else. In addition to having highly virulent venom, it also has an aggressive attitude.

Conus geographus, a type of cone snail, is a dangerous creature. Found in tropical and subtropical seas, these snails hide under the sand in coral reefs with their siphon sticking out.

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