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[:en]oyster drill [:]

[:en]There is more to marine life that meets the eye. In every nook and cranny are niches of species, living and feeding to survive. Oyster drill are one of the species that live in the sea, between crevices, feeding on mussels, barnacles and small oysters. These carnivorous sea snails are found specifically on the intertidal or littoral zone – area in the foreshore and seabed exposed to air at low tide and submerged at high tide. The crevices allows the snails to feed on barnacles and other thin shelled mollusks away from predators, protecting them from extreme temperatures – low and high temperatures, the sun and wind. High salinity is also an issue that causes extreme dryness.

Feeding

Oyster drill radula or tooth ribbon allows them to drill into the oysters, mussels and barnacles. They penetrate the shells in about 45 minutes. After drilling the hole, they insert a tube called proboscis to deliver the digestive enzymes that disintegrate the tissue of their prey. They usually hunt in groups or packs.

Means of Survival

The challenge for these sea snails is to stay wet during low tide. Extreme dryness or desiccation is a challenge as it causes death to the oyster Drill. To prevent this while on dry foreshores is to secrete mucous at the entrance of the shell. This adaptation in their habitat is necessary for them to survive above water longer and live considerably up on rocky shores when needed depending on their target feeding grounds. Younger snails feed on barnacles while adult snails feed on mussels, oysters and other mollusks. The older and bigger they get; the more they are susceptible to the motions of waves thus get washed to oysters’ breeding grounds. Barnacles live above oysters on rocky shores as the former are more tolerant to aerial exposure; living above rocky areas to avoid overcrowding. And wherever the barnacles and oysters thrive, the sea snails are to be found.

The symbiotic relationship of oyster drill snails and the organisms living in the rocky and foreshores is evidence to the predatory nature of existence in these areas of the seas and oceans. Barnacles, oysters, mussels and other mollusks live off the planktons and other microorganism in the water while oyster drill snails feed on them.[:]