Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Venus Comb Murex

Image: museoscienzesgt
Murex Pecten
Ow! Comb? You're calling that a comb? Your hair-dresser pulls that thing out and you're seriously suggesting that the combing of your hair is the first thing to pop in your mind? Really?

We've seen time and time again that this Venus lady really likes beautiful things. I'm not sure what I expected her comb to look like, but it wasn't this. I imagine she carries it in a violin case.

Image: Didier Descouens
"What's in the violin case?"

"Just my comb."

"Alright, lady."


We're seeing a whole new side of her.

Image: CybersamX
It's the shell of a snail, more specifically a kind of Murex or Rock Snail. At 15 cm (6 in) long, this Indo-Pacific species is pretty big, although a lot of that length is taken up by an incredibly long siphonal canal.

It's a tank. A pointy tank.

The siphon is a long, hose pipe thing used to draw in water for respiration and it's also armed with chemosensory organs to sniff out food. It's a nose, basically. The siphonal canal is a bit of shell that protects the soft, fleshy siphon from attack. At rest, the snail buries itself just below the surface of the sandy sea floor, armoured siphon sticking up into the water.

When it smells something tasty, the Venus Comb Murex can emerge in all its spiky glory and manically shriek "I've come to comb your hair! Bwaaaahahahahaa!!" as it chases down molluscs to eat.


TexWisGirl said...

that is dang cool!

Joseph Jameson-Gould said...

Yup! And utterly over the top, haha!

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