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  • José H. Leal

Happy Radula-ween!!

Ready to get scared? A radula is the ribbon of teeth used by most mollusks for feeding. Depending on the mollusk, radulas can drill, scrape, slurp, slash, or sting. During my talks on cool molluscan facts I like to showcase the radula of the Magellan Volute, Odontocymbiola magellanica (shown in two views in the illustration), which I consider to be one of the most threatening structures in mollusks!

To me, the long cusps on that radula resemble the razor-sharp fingers of the everlasting movie character Edward Scissorhands, played by Johnny Depp in Tim Burton's classic movie of the same name.

©Twentieth Century Fox

Unlike the gentle Scissorhands, however, Magellan Volutes will not hesitate to use their long, sharp body parts as fatal weapons to slash prey (other mollusks), which they do following intoxication by a narcotic saliva. Pretty gruesome, eh?


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