Knobbed whelk

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Knobbed whelk
Busycon carica.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
Order: Sorbeoconcha
Family: Melongenidae
Genus: Busycon
Species: B. carica
Binomial name
Busycon carica
(Gmelin, 1791)

The Knobbed Whelk (Busycon carica) is a gastropod mollusc which is protected by a thick, hard shell.

Description[change | change source]

This mollusc is found in shallow waters of the Atlantic Ocean off the east coast of North America from Massachusetts to northern Florida.

The shell[change | change source]

The Knobbed Whelk has a spiral shell with knobs (or spines) along its shoulder. The shell is up to 9.5 inches (24 cm) long. The shell is light gray to tan, and often has brown and white streaks.

Diet[change | change source]

Knobbed Whelks eat clams. They open the clam with their hard shell, and insert their long proboscis. They eat using a radula, a rough tongue-like organ that has thousands of tiny denticles (tooth-like protrusions).