Sinum perspectivum- White Baby’s Ear
Habitat Sandy bottoms
Range 39°N to 28°S and 97°W to 34.9°W. From the northern east coast of the United States to the southern east coast of Brazil.
Description As the name suggests, the white baby’s ear does resemble a small baby’s ear. This shell is small, about 5 cm, and white. The shell has a spiral pattern on the outside known as the spire. On the underside, the shell’s opening is large enough that the apex of the spire is visible.
Ecological Notes White baby’s ear snails are carnivorous. They often prey on other bivalves, including small clams by digging through the sand. Like many other snails, white baby’s ear snails use a radula to drill a hole into the shell of its prey. They use acid secretions to make the prey’s shell softer for drilling and then consume the soft tissues inside the shell.
Personal Information The specimen pictured above was found lying upon the sand on a sand dune at the Oregon Inlet beach.
Meyer, P. (2010). Baby's Ear. In Nature Guide to the Carolina Coast (2nd ed., p. 70). Wilmington, NC: Avian-Cretacean Press.
Subhronil, M., Hutchings, J. A., & Herbert, G. S. (2014). A Note on Edge Drilling Predation by Naticid Gastropods. Journal of Molluscan Studies, 1-7. doi:10.1093/mollus/eyu001 http://mollus.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/02/17/mollus.eyu001.full.pdf
This paper studied the edge drilling strategy used by many gastropods to feed on bivalve prey. The paper discusses the drilling techniques of the family Naticidae, which is the family that Sinum perspectivum belongs to. The data section identifies the specific species that Sinum perspectivum preys on.
Chung, E., Kim, S., & Back, Y. (2011). Observations of Boring Behaviour and the Drilling Mechanism of Lunatia fortunei (Gastropoda: Naticidae) in Western Korea. The Korean Journal of Malacology, 27(3), 253-259. doi:10.9710/kjm.2011.27.3.253 http://ocean.kisti.re.kr/downfile/volume/tmsk/GPRHB@/2011/v27n3/GPRHB@_2011_v27n3_253.pdf
This paper mainly discusses the boring behavior and drilling techniques of a specific species of gastropod, Lunatia fortunei, but it does mention how the drilling technique of Sinum perspectivum is different than that of the species discussed. It states that Sinum perspectivum has accessory boring organs but does not have accessory salivary glands as found in Lunatia fortunei.
Contributed by Maria Bon - 2016