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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Snail snorkel

Carinated Dove Snail (Alia carinata) (= Mitrella carinata)

This small brown snail (~1 cm long) is common along the rocky outer coast of Bodega Head.  Shell pattern is highly variable.

This individual's siphon is visible.  It's the long tube-shaped structure emerging from the anterior (front) end of the snail.  Snails use siphons like snorkels to draw water into the mantle cavity for both respiration (gathering oxygen) and sensing the environment (e.g., food!).

There are lots of other invertebrates in this photo, such as the bright orange sea squirts, but we'll have to wait for a future post to discuss them.

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