Most poisonous snail
Last updated: October 12, 2017 at 19:30 pm
Cone snails (Conidae) may reach lengths up to 23 cm (9 in). They prey on invertebrates and small fish by injecting a neurotoxin with a venomous harpoon. The venom of some 20 species is potent enough to kill a person. Warm water neoprene dive suits offer little protection to divers as they are easily penetrated by the harpoon. The geographic cone (Conus geographus) is also known as the “cigarette snail,” as it is believed that a person injected with its neurotoxin has the time to smoke only one cigarette before dying. There is no known antivenom.
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Jeffrey Gallant is the Editor-in-Chief and Records Keeper of the Diving Almanac. He is also a contributing editor of DIVER Magazine, and the scientific director of the Greenland Shark and Elasmobranch Education and Research Group (GEERG). Jeffrey started diving in 1982.