Murex is a predatory tropical sea snail
Sun, 06 May 2012
By Mohammed Al Barwani — Murex is a genus of tropical marine predatory snails. They are carnivorous gastropods of the sea. Murexes and all other shells and snails fall under Phylum Mollusca within the animal kingdom arrangement. There are two common type of Murex in Omani waters and thesees are under Family Muricidae.
Murexes in Omani waters keep well within their habitats. Being sand dwellers, they look for protection by digging deep in sand. They feed on bivalves and other shells as well as sea urchins. In this essay we will concentrate more on Chicoreus ramosus (the largest Murex), though we will touch a little on Murex sclopax (Spiny Murex) as well. Both the above mentioned Murexes are widely distributed in our inshore waters as well as Indo-Pacific region within the tropical and sub-tropical waters within the depth from one to ten metres of water.
This Murex is considered as an economically important marine snail or shell and means of marine protein intake in many countries within the Indo-Pacific regions. Historically, Murexes were used to extract dye for ceremonial and religious dressings.
This shell has a heavy and rugged solid shell with blunt nodes. The muscular foot is equipped with hard operculum which protects the shell when it retrieves itself into theshell when attacked. The colour of the shell is white with brownish shades. Inner edge of the shell is of pink colour while deep inside is white. Size ranges to 22cms. But in other countries grows beyond this size.
This is different in body structure and size as seen in the picture. The body is full of elongated spikes with long interior canal. This specie lives in murky shallow water within the depth of 2 metres. The spikes of this Murex can cause foot injuries if stepped bare footed on it while walking on the beach. These are also widely distributed in the Indian Ocean in the tropic and sub-tropic regions. All types of Murexes are shell collector items.
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