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  • José H. Leal

Meal Time!

During field work in Fort Myers a few weeks ago, National Shell Museum Marine Biologist Jorden Falker captured this remarkable image of a Lightning Whelk (Sinistrofulgur sinistrum) holding a Sunray Venus clam (Macrocallista nimbosa) in preparation for a meal. Lightning Whelks are known to use the edge of their aperture (the external lip) as a “clam knife” to pry open bivalves. To that end, they have to place the clam just so, which they do using their big foot to adjust the clam’s position. Lightning Whelks will eat a large bivalve such as the Sunray Venus once every few weeks.

Lightning Whelk about to eat a Sunray Venus. Image by Jorden Falker.


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