My next visit to the beach at low tide revealed a living Lewis's Moon Snail; In my previous post I showed the shell and egg casing; this time I found the living mollusk! The top photo shows the moonsnail from the side with its mantle (foot) extended and moving from left to right. Note the huge size of the mantle...it covers nearly half the shell! The brown lines marking the mantle are exquisite in their detail! The locomotion lubricant (slime trail) is visible extending behind the snail.
The next photo (taken from above) shows the front edge of the foot (right), the
siphon (top right, with thin black border), and the two black lined cephalic tentacles.
These are sense organs that perform multiple functions including smell, "sight" and mate attraction. They are only partially extended here.
The third photo show two examples of the operculum (little lid), the amber tinted "door" that is attached to the foot which allows the moonsnail to seal its shell opening tightly with the snail inside to prevent drying out (such as at low tide). The snail's body is so large compared to the shell that it cannot stay sealed in the shell for too long or it will die from lack of oxygen. Opercula are quite beautiful in color and shape!
If you like the moon snail, please stay tuned for my upcoming video showing this fascinating creature in motion! I will post this Getting Wild episode soon.
Popular posts from this blog
I am happy to announce that I am in Leavenworth this week as a featured speaker for the annual Bird Fest! Icicle Creek and the Wenatchee River valley are host to a dazzling variety of spring migrants that favor the east side of the Cascade Range. In addition to exploring a variety of habitats seeing out these colorful visitors, I am leading three Owl Prowls on the 13th, 14th, and 15 starting at 9:00 PM. Friday afternoon at 3:00 pm I am presenting a virtual program on owls and their unique adaptations with some cool video footage. Saturday afternoon at 2:00 pm I am presenting a program on the woodpeckers of Washington showcasing their unique adaptations (such as why don't they need extra strength Exedrin after bashing their heads against trees all day!). To view these online presentations click on the following link to register: https://wenatcheeriverinstitute.org/bird-fest/bird-fest-2021.html If you decide to take advantage of this great spring weather and visit Leaven
Autumn is when mushroom enthusiasts in the Pacific Northwest are bent low to the ground sleuthing for fruiting bodies of fungi that are popping up everywhere. Fortunately for foragers and harvesters there are few (three) mushrooms that are deadly poisonous. Let's get acquainted with the enticing but toxic Death Cap (Amanita phalloides). The Death Cap is found low to the ground and has elegant proportions with a bell shaped cap that is pale olive green with a luster that often looks metallic. The gills are white as are the spores (observe the white spore print that I have included); spore color is an important feature in determining mushroom types. Notice the sac-like volva at the base of this mushroom: not all mushrooms have this feature but all Death Caps have volvas! The toxin in this Amanita is a potent cyclopeptide called amanitin. Amanitin disrupts the function of protein enzymes that leads to liver and kidney failure. The onset of symptoms (abdominal pain, vomiting
I nterested in learning about the birds you see and hear on the trail? I recently did this collaborative with Washington Trails Association on birding and hiking, check it out! It will add a new dimension to your hiking enjoyment. WTA.ORG Bird Watching Hikes in Washington: Where to See Birds, Birbs and Borbs Bird https://www.wta.org/go-outside/seasonal-hikes/fall-destinations/bird-watching-hikes-in-washington