Sea-Dwelling Snails Produce Unique Type Of Insulin To Disable Prey

January 20, 2015 11:33 AM

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Sea-Dwelling Snails Produce Unique Type Of Insulin To Disable Prey

Slow-moving cone snails use a unique tactic to catch prey that are much faster than them -- they release a kind of toxic insulin, which disables the prey by targeting the nervous system, scientists said in a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

According to the study, some cone snails -- abundant in most tropical marine waters -- add a “weaponized” form of insulin to the venom cocktail they use to immobilize fish. When injected into a prey, the insulin causes the blood glucose levels to plummet, making the animal sluggish. At this stage, t...

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