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Conus Baileyi

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Conus Baileyi is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Conidae, commonly known as cone or conus snails.

All cone snails are predators, hunting and immobilizing prey using a modified radular tooth along with a venom gland containing neurotoxins; the tooth is launched out of the snail's mouth in a harpoon-like action.

The cone snail's toxin can be dangerous to humans, there are around 30 documented cases of humans killed by a cone snail. Some large species can kill a human in under 5 minutes. The cone venom is mostly a mixture of peptides, called conopeptides, which, in recent years, became the focus of some pharmaceutical and biotechnological companies because of their potential medicinal properties. For example Prialt, an analgesic drug made from a synthetic ω-conopeptide, is said to be 1000 times more potent than morphine (unfortunately it has severe side effects and must be administered directly into the spinal fluid, so it is only used as a last resort for patients who do not tolerate or respond to other treatments). Other conopeptide-based drugs are currently in clinical trials, for the treatment of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, depression and epilepsy.

There are over 600 species of cone snails many of which have existed for 50 million years. Some coni have rather pretty shells, making them one of the most popular collectible shells.

I used Shell Encyclopedia to identify the exact species of the Mediterranean conus you see on the picture, although I'm not entirely sure it is correct, I just really liked the name...

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