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Featured Shellfish - Oregon Hairy Triton

Featured Shellfish November 2014

Oregon Hairy Triton, Fusitriton oregonensis:

Did you know that Oregon has an official state seashell?

The Oregon hairy triton was first described by botonist J. H. Redfield in 1848. It is said that the species name (oregonesis) celebrated the naming of the Oregon territory.

In 1989, the Oregon hairy triton was declared the states official sea shell by the sixty-fifth Legislative Assembly of Oregon.

These shells can be hard to find in Oregon, this particular specimen came from 600' of water on the rocky Coquille Banks.

 

oregon hairy triton

Unlikely predators:

Though a beautiful shell, the snails are impressive predators feeding on ascidians, urchins, bivalves, sea stars, polychaetes and chitons. Its salivary glands produce sulfuric acid which may help bore through the shells of their prey. In its probiscis an anesthetic is secreted used for subduing prey.

References:

Cowles, Dave, "Fusitron oregonensis," Walla Walla University Rosario Beach Marine Laboratory, 2005.

Tucker, Kathy, "Oregon state symbols", the Oregon Historical Society, 2014.

 

 



 

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