Dr. Annesley To Discuss Cone Snails At April Shell Club Meeting

provided to The Santiva Chronicle

The Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club will host its membership meeting at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 10 at the Sanibel Community House, , 2173 Periwinkle Way.

Speaker Dr. Tom Annesley is an active professor emeritus at the University of Michigan, where he teaches scientific writing. He has published more than 200 scientific papers and presented more than 180 invited lectures in 12 countries. He is past-president of the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club, and prior Scientific Chair of the Sanibel Shell Show. And he spends much of his time volunteering at the Bailey Matthews National Shell Museum.

His presentation will feature cone snails, considered to be among the most beautiful mollusks found anywhere in the world. Their beauty, however, hides the fact that these slow-moving snails use harpoon-like tools and a potent venom mixture to capture their prey. These venoms can be as potent as a rattlesnake bite, scorpion sting, Gila monster bite, and poison dart frog combined. But like many things in nature, animals with bad reputations often have unrecognized redeeming qualities.

So, can cone snails be both supervillains and superheroes? In this presentation, Annesley will help you decide for yourself.

The meeting is open to the public and will feature a Silent Auction, as well as an Oral Auction, of special shells. The Silent Action begins at 1:45 p.m., followed by the membership meeting. Safety protocols will be in place, and masks are strongly recommended, but only required for the unvaccinated at the Sanibel Community House. Free parking is available on site.

The Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club awards grants from the proceeds of their annual shell show. Grants are given towards education and research in the fields of conchology and malacology, as well as for conservation and water quality projects, primarily in Southwest Florida. For more information about the annual shell show or to join the club, visit the shell club’s website.

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