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Conch

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Conch
Conch.jpg
Scientific Classification
Species
  • S. gigas
  • S. luhuanus
  • S. pugilis
  • S. tricornis
  • S. canarium
  • S. dolomena
  • S. gibberulus
  • S. conomurex
  • S. lentigo
  • S. doxander
  • S. urceus
  • S. fragilis
  • S. gallus
  • S. dentatus
  • S. marginatus
  • S. raninus
  • S. buvonius
Conch without shell
Conch out side of shelll.jpg

A conch is one of a group of species of saltwater snail. True conches are marine gastropods, a soft-bodied mollusk with a single shell or shell less that move by using a muscular foot located on the ventral side. Family of Conch is Strombidae, and the genus is Strombus.[1]

Contents

Anatomy

The body plan has four parts: the head, the visceral mass, the foot and mantle. Mantle is the thin layer of tissue that cover the body. [2] Conches have a shell that the spirally shell can grow sinistral (left-handed) or dextral (right-handed) depending on the species.[3] The conch has two pairs of long narrow tentacles which are the eye stalks on the head; each of eye stalks can sense a light by using eyespot. The smaller pair of tentacles is very sensitive on the smell and touch.[4] The conch has a siphonal canal. It is a tube-like structure through which water enters and leaves the body. They also have a foot. Conch move over surfaces using a rippling motion of the foot.[5]

Reproduction

Conch with egg string

Conches are hermaphrodites that reproduce sexually. They have sex during the spring and summer. [6] They cannot reproduce until at the age of the 3~4 years because their shell lip is not fully developed. [7] They do internal fertilization. Each female can spawn up 9 times maximum during a single reproductive season which lasts from May to November. [8]

During fertilization, the male interpose his sex organ called verge into the female’s sex organ called vaginal. Then male releases sperms that will fertilize in the female’s 500,000 tiny eggs which hatch after about 5 days. When the eggs completely grow, they appear from the female then stick together to a gelatinous string which looks like a fishing line.[9]

3~4 days for incubation period, a mother conch ensconce the eggs in the sand grains to keep them safe. When the egg mass hatches, the larvae then progress about three to eight weeks for drifting in the water column and feeding in the plankton before metamorphosing into the adult form. [10]

Ecology

The queen conch lives in sandy bottom of the sea where are the many of the sea grass and algae that they can eat. The place is warm and shallow water about 21 meters.[11]

Conch feed using a flexible tongue-shaped structure-shaped known as a radula which is with hundreds of tiny teeth. Conch can to eat sea grass and twenty-one different species of algae. Conches also eat floating organic debris. [12]

Conch has many predators including some species of marine turtle, teleost fishes, decapods, and gastropods. To survive from them, conch uses the size as a defense. When conch gets older, the shell also grows together. It diminishes the number of predictor that can drill through the shell and reach to the meat. The spires that grow in spiral on the conch shell that protect from small mouthed predators. Sea turtles, nurse sharks, porcupine fish, rays, and larger crab and lobster are able to crush the conch shell to get the meat with using their powerful claws, mandibles, and specialized dentition. Another common predator is the octopus. The octopus can prey larger and big conch which is one way of the defense. They penetrate a hole in the spire of the shell and make the conch enervated by inject a neurotoxin. Then the Octopus can go into the conch shell and feed on the soft tissue. [13]

Other Topic

Conch Horn

Human Use
People eat the animal inside of the shell as in salads, or cooked. Conch meal also often called Scungilli. [14] Also people use the empty conch shell for a horn. It is used as a trumpet in the Hindu and represent a major Hindu article of prayer.[15]
In some countries, people sell the cleaned Queen Conch to tourists as a tourism memento a jewelry. The clean empty queen conch costs about 20~40 dollars. [16] People also use the conch shell as a building material. They use it for decoration for house. [17]

When there were not enough instruments, people play the conch shell. And still people play for fun. Conch shell does not have the valve to blow air in. Naturally, the shells only can play one note, but when you drill few holes you can make different sound and notes by covering hole with fingers. The conch shells also known as the musical instrument of mermaids.[18]
People used the conch shell in many different ways. Indians used the conch shell to decorate for plate and cameo. Mayan also used it as a weapon, trumpets, and ink holder. In religious way, Peru Indian, Moche, worshipped to the sea and conch shell represented it and use in their art. [19]

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