Fish-eating snails stun their prey with insulin

Evolution can be an arms race between predator and prey — as predators develop new killing tactics, prey respond by evolving camouflage abilities, or developing defense mechanisms. A team at the University of Utah has discovered that two species of cone snail have a seemingly unique way to hunt — by releasing fish insulin into the water to slow down the metabolism of the fish they seek to eat.

According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the two fish-hunting cone snails that have evolved this unique ability are Conus geographus and Conus tulipa. These snails use a specially evolved fish insulin to induce hypoglycemic shock in their prey. Instead of pursuing their meals, they wait until one swims…

Continue reading…

The Verge – All Posts

Leave a Comment