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Cape Cod Real Bores!

This is a little dissertation on one of Cape Cod’s clams worst foes the snail, more particularly the kind called the boring snail or whelk.

The common land-snail is pest enough, the boring snail is much more so.

Whereas the common snail damages garden crops, hiding by day and sallying forth at night to eat, the boring snail takes special delight in feeding on the succulent clams. It actually bores right through the thick shell of the clams in order to feed up, on the enclosed victims.

Even where there are no clams, the boring snails are abundant. When clams are “seeded” on a clam flat the boring snails show up in large numbers for the feast. In three weeks, young boring snails eats their weight in clam meat, and then repeat the performance.

You can see how much the clam diggers who depend for a living themselves, by procuring clams for humans to eat, dislike the boring snails, which devour the clams and deprive the clam diggers of their living. When there are no clams, the boring snails subsist on the tiny “duck clams.” These are so small that the borers can just barely exist by devouring them, so, semi-starved and dissatisfied the borers are “anxious” for real clams.

A whelk shell looks kind of like a conch shell. Both being spindle like in appearance, the whelk shell is often confused with the conch shell.

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Cape Cod
Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 06/20/06
Categories: Nature
Keywords: critters, nature, shellfish


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