The Poison Cone Shell

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During the past one hundred years a few specific cases of death by the bite of a cone shell (Conus) have been published. The total list of known cases is not at all impressive and the danger from such a source may be very minor indeed, but it is present and constitutes a hazard that should not be overlooked by the shell collector in the tropics.

In these times when an ever increasing number of our armed forces are being sent to the tropics, a surprizing amount of interest has developed in the collecting of shells in places where they are come upon more or less casually, as while swimming. This report is to focus attention on a potential hazard which might be encountered, especially in the South Seas, and to serve as a warning to those who would hardly expect a formidable danger in the form of a marine snail.

Author Notes

Museum of Comparative Zoölogy, Harvard University.

Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii.