Marine snails form the dominant component of molluscan faunas throughout the world’s oceans. Although families such as the cowries, cone snails and murex snails may be the best known due to their attractive shells and often bright colours, large numbers of ecologically important species are either drab, or small to microscopic in size. In Moreton Bay the vast majority of marine snails are predatory, feeding on worms, barnacles, other molluscs or even sponges, and several species (eg dog whelks) are scavengers. Sand creepers and mud whelks feed on the detritus lining the surface of sandy or muddy sediments while groups such as limpets and many top snails feed predominantly on algae. Marine snails come in many shapes and colours. All of the species (shown above) have been found in Australian waters and three of them are only known from here.
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