Thursday, 2 July 2015

Creature 275: Cyphoma gibbosum

Colorful snail with a boring shell

Cyphoma gibbosum is a brightly colored sea snail.

It has been given the common name flamingo tongue snail, although I can't imagine why. I don't think it looks anything like a flamingo's tongue.The interesting thing about this snail is that while it may look like it has a pretty shell, it actually has quite a boring plain white shell. The patterns are actually the color of the snails mantle which has grown over the shell. Its purpose is to provide a large surface area for the snail to absorb Oxygen from the water.

The flamingo tongue snail is known from the Caribbean sea and some coastal areas of Eastern South America.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
Order: Caenogastropoda
Family: Ovulidae
Genus: Cyphoma
Species: Cyphoma  gibbosum

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