Family Terebridae - auger shells

  Order
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  Class
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Gastropoda
  No. of Genera in Ref
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  Environment
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Fresh : No | Brackish : No | Marine : Yes
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  Remark
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Shell elongate and sharply conical, more or less slender, with a high, many-whorled spire and relatively small aperture. Outer surface smooth or with a low sculpture of axial or spiral cods and often a spiral groove near the suture. No periostracum. Anterior siphonal canal short and wide. Outer lip of the aperture thin. Inner lip thickened, with a twisted columella. Operculum corneous, small and ovate to claw-shaped, with a terminal nucleus. Head with a thin, long, and cylindrical snout. Eyes, when present, at the tips of short tentacles. Foot often small, rounded anteriorly and elongate posteriorly. Fleshy siphon well developed. Common in shallow water, tropical to subtropical marine environments such as sandy shores and coral-reef flats. Bury themselves in clean to muddy-sand bottoms, with only the apical tip of the spire and the fleshy siphon exposed. Active, carnivorous animals, feeding on polychaetes or enteropneusts which are located by touch, with the aid of the sensitive front edge of the foot and the snout. Some species have sharp, arrow-like radular teeth and a poisonous gland to paralyse their prey before it is swallowed. Sexes separate, fertilization internal. Eggs released in corneous capsules, hatching either as planktonic larvae or as crawling juveniles. Some of the larger species are occasionally consumed by the sea shore inhabitants, but Terebridae are now mainly collected for their elegant shells which are highly prized among collectors (Ref. 349).
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Ref.
[ e.g. 9948]                       
Glossary
                    [ e.g. cephalopods]


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