Bulletin 3 - October 1977: Cone Shells (Conidae)



Cone Shells (Conidae)

by D.M. Corfield

The species of seashells commonly known as cone shells can be found in the seas around the United Arab Emirates. If you come across one when either beachcombing or snorkeling, you should treat it with caution because they are capable of inflicting a very painful, and sometimes fatal, sting..

There are about 400 different types of cone shells found in the world, with most species living in warm waters. They prey on worms and small fish, and prefer shallow waters where they live under stones or on coral.

They range in size from the half inch Hebrew Cone (Conus ebraus) to the 12-inch-long Prometheus Cone (Conus prometheus). Many are very beautifully marked and some are collectors' items. For example, less than 100 Glory of the Seas Cone (Conus gloria-maria) have been found, and most of these are now in museum collections.


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