Conus marmoreus
A Cannibalistic Cone Snail

Conus marmoreus (Courtesy of Jeanette and Scott Johnson)Welcome to my website dedicated to the marbled cone snail, also known as Conus marmoreus.  It is a somewhat popular species among biologists and shell collectors alike, which can probably be attributed to its striking patterns and colors on its shell.  Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn famously made paintings and wood carvings of this animal during the 17th century, as shown below.  The marbled cone snail usually has creamy white almost-triangular shapes on a field of dark brown or blackish color.  At adulthood, its shell is typically around two to three inches in length.

Rembrandt's drawing of Conus marmoreusC. marmoreus is a triploblastic animal, meaning it has three types of tissues.  This is the case with most animals, although some like the Portugese Man o’ War jellyfish only have two tissues and are diploblastic; others still, such as Plakortis simplex have no true tissues at all.  The marbled cone snail was the first cone snail described by "The Father of Binomial Nomenclature" Carolus Linnaeus, and is the type species for the genus Conus, or cone snails.  This means that it defines the genus for the purpose of determining whether or not other species belong to that same genus.  This isn’t your ordinary snail, however.  The marbled cone snail is a molluscivore, which means it feeds on other mollusks.  To capture and handle its prey, it has adapted a very toxic venom.

A marbled cone snail using its siphon and pale yellow proboscis to investigate a potential meal (Courtesy of Jeanette and Scott Johnson)To learn more about where the marbled cone snail is found and its general habitat, click here.
To gain insight on some adaptations the marbled cone snail has undergone, click here.
To discover what C. marmoreus eats and how it acquires its prey, click here.
To understand how C. marmoreus reproduces, click here.
To read about the marbled cone snail’s interactions with other species, click here.
To learn about the marbled cone snail’s venom and how it disables prey, click here.
For the complete taxonomy and classification of C. marmoreus, click here.

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