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Miêu tả [sửa]
The name "turbo cornutus" literally means "horned turban," and it is characterized by a hard, spiny shell. Also known as the horned turban shell, it has a large, thick, green-gray shell and a snail-like body. The shell has about five spirals, which turn counterclockwise and have horny protuberances. The thickness and shape of the shell and the horns vary greatly according to environmental conditions. The shell-opening is about 3.5 cm in diameter, and is green or red-brown. The inside lip of the shell is not smooth, but rough and granular. Turbo cornutus is one of the sea snails that develops an operculum. Due to an anatomical quirk of growth of gastropods, the anus is located on its head. As marine snails, they breathe through gills.
Habitat and Reproduction [sửa]
Turbo cornutus can be được tìm thấy ở relatively shallow vùng nước ven biển (up to 30 meters deep). It can be found around the Japanese islands from Honshu to Kyushu and Okinawa. It feeds on various kinds of algae. Young horned turban shells eat red-turf algae, while adults eat larger seaweed.
Turbo cornutus spawns từ tháng 8 đến tháng 9, although the gonads begin to mature from tháng 5. Larvae have a very short period as free-floating plankton at approximately five days, after which they settle and begin to develop a shell. The planktonic and early shell-growing stages are highly dangerous times for young horned turban shells, and they are eaten in large numbers.
Consumption and Environmental Consequences [sửa]
Turbo cornutus is enjoyed as a delicacy in Nhật Bản, ở đó nó is known as "sazae." After cooking, the corkscrew-like animal can then be drawn out of its shell using its hard operculum, or hard, rocky lid, to which it is firmly attached. The operculum is not edible, and must be discarded along with the animal's shell after eating.
Since sazae is such a prized delicacy in Japan, and thus commercially important, natural populations are supplemented by artificially reared juveniles. Large numbers of animals are bred and then dumped into the open sea to complete their growth. The result of this is a reduction in the genetic diversity of the animal, which may leave it vulnerable to disease.
Tham khảo [sửa]
Hooper, R (2007). "Horned turban shell", Japan Times, The, Retrieved on 2010-07-06