Sting.Stab.Strike

Cone Shell

What do they look like?

The shells of the cone shell are shaped like an ice-cream cone, brightly coloured and intricately patterned.
Inside the shell, is a snail. Parts of the snail that appear outside the shell are its foot used for movement, a siphon
which draws in water for them to breathe and a tooth or snout used for hunting and defence.

Where do they live?

In shallow water, sand flats and reefs all around
Australia.

Why are they dangerous?

Cone shells have harpoon-like darts which can deliver
paralysing venom via their tooth. This venom can
cause nausea, weakness, numbness, tingling and
affect your movement, vision, hearing and speech.
It also stops your lungs working, which can lead to
death.

How to avoid them?

Do not pick up any cone-shaped shells, even if they
are washed up on shore. There is no safe way to pick
up a cone shell as their tooth can reach all parts of the
shell.

What to do if you get hurt?

Call 000 to get urgent medical assistance. Apply a
pressure immobilisation bandage and provide CPR as
necessary.