Cone Shells: Dangerous Beauty


I collect cone shells fairly often. On Sanibel, we have Alphabet, Dusky and Florida cones.  I just watched a NOVA documentary on venomous creatures, and to my surprise learned ALL cone shells are poisonous!

According to several online resources, the neurotoxin of these Atlantic varieties are not as deadly as their Pacific kin. However if I do run across a live specimen, I will certainly handle with exceptional care while returning it to the sea.

Here is a link to the documentary I mentioned NOVA: Venom Nature’s Killer
For more on varieties of Sanibel shells visit I Love Shelling

Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Cone Shells: Dangerous Beauty

  1. Bernie Nazer

    I live in pasco county fl.4 years ago I was stung by a posionous cone shell and all most died.They denied there are such cone shells in Florida.I was paralized.Now one in the parks Dept. Would believe me. I would like someone with knowledge write me.

    • Ritza

      I was stung in 1989 off the coast of Ft. Lauderdale while wreck diving. Got very sick, lymph node in armpit swelled to size of softball, and had to have it drained. Gross….I still live with side effects from the sting. Vertigo and dizzeness and severe nasuea are the main complaints. Migraines are too but I only get them 4-5 times a year and the other symptoms I live with daily. People in Parks are stupid if they do not know we have these in are waters. Call DAN (diver alert network)and they will give you more info.

  2. Magi donaghy

    I live in San Felipe Baja Mexico 125 miles south of the California border. I have been a sheller for many years, and i have found Cone,s here but i have never found a live one. I have heard that Cones are poison but i thought it was a specific speecies. Glad to know that it applys to all of them. The shells used to be plentiful here. ive been a beach comber here since the late 80,s. Not so many shell these days to many people are collecting now also. Just some FYI

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