The body of this snail contains more than 200 pharmacologically active substances, and a single drop of their venom can kill 20 adults.
Do not think that the most venomous species in the world are located in Australia. And perhaps beachgoers on vacation must be extra careful, because one of the most venomous species in the world could suddenly appear next to you. But perhaps many people do not know how poisonous they are, you may even mistake it for the colorful beauty of snails used as tourist souvenirs to give to friends.
This species is extremely toxic, it prefers to hide in coral reefs, rocks and sandy seabeds from intertidal to intertidal zones in southeastern China and tropical seas. Their bodies contain more than 200 pharmacologically active substances and a single drop of venom can kill 20 adults. To date there have been at least 100 recorded deaths from the venom of this species and the actual number could be much higher.
The creature we are talking about here is the Cone Snail, also known as the cone snail, is a marine gastropod mollusk, so far more than 70 species have been found along the coast. along the coast of China and there are more than 1,000 species discovered in the world.
Their venom is made up of a mixture called peptide conus. Each of them will have a unique venom formula. More than 50,000 conus peptides have been discovered, they are all neurotoxins and no vertebrate species on our planet possesses this form of venom.
The Cone Snail has a mostly conical appearance and the largest can be 23 cm long. They are purely carnivores and predators, feeding mainly on sea worms, small fish, mollusks and even other cone snails. It can release venom at any time in its life, and this species is always ready to wipe out all living things around it.
But surely you will find it difficult to understand because in our impression, snails are very slow-moving mollusks, how can they hunt, especially fast-moving species like fish?
In fact, the secret to their hunting is not in their movement speed, instead they hunt by using their venom and developing an extremely efficient venom system.
All cone snails are masters of poisons, likened to the five poisons in the animal kingdom. They have a tongue pocket in their throat, in which there are many hollow toothed tongues, which resemble spearheads and are made of hard chitin.
Because of their slow movement speed, cone snails often hunt by “holding a tree waiting for rabbits”, they will lie in the sand at the bottom of the water, only revealing their long tubular mouth and tentacles in the sand. Once it detects prey such as a small fish or something passing by, it will use strong muscle contractions to shoot the tongue connected with the venom gland from its long tubular mouth at lightning speed and “close the gap”. nail” into the body, injecting poison into the prey. This venom will paralyze prey within seconds and die instantly.
To prevent their prey from struggling, some species of snails have created a toxin that can reduce pain and anesthetize the prey’s nerves, making the prey feel no pain and slowly die without even realizing it. know. Once the prey is fixed and no longer struggling, the conch will withdraw its “hook” (toothed tongue), pulling the paralyzed prey into its mouth.
It’s worth noting that even when it’s not during mealtimes, if it feels threatened, the conch shells will shoot out without hesitation. So if you see brightly colored and beautiful cones on the beach, don’t stress. It came out by accident. Pick it up, especially the larger cone snails. This behavior can kill you because the conch’s nose can pierce the skin, gloves or wetsuit.
Especially among cone snails, there is a species called Gastridium geographus, also known as geographical cone snail, killer snail, they are known as one of the most poisonous snails in the world, and one of the most dangerous snails in the world. marine animals that are extremely toxic to humans. One study estimated that this species alone caused 36 deaths.
Symptoms of a snail sting include local pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, and vomiting. Symptoms may appear immediately or slowly over several days. In severe cases, muscle paralysis, vision changes and respiratory failure can lead to death.
The various neurotoxins contained in cone snails are called cono toxins. In addition to being toxic to humans, in this venom mixture there are many beneficial substances, which can work accurately and quickly on the human nervous system without causing side effects. Therefore, this snail can also open up a new medical future for humans.
For example, cono peptides have the potential to prevent spasticity caused by spinal cord injury and may help diagnose and treat small cell lung cancer. Conotoxins can immediately generate nerve signals that reduce heart rate or turn off pain receptors. Ziconotide isolated from it is used as an analgesic. It is said to be 1000 times more effective than morphine and not addictive.
Conotoxin ACV1, isolated from Victoria cone cone in Australia, is more effective than morphine and Ziconotide, has a longer analgesic effect and is convenient to use without side effects. It has been shown to be very effective in the treatment of post-operative and neurological conditions, and even accelerates the recovery of nerve damage, and is expected to be developed into a drug for the treatment of epilepsy. anxiety, Parkinson’s disease, muscle tension and hypertension.