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Flamingo Tongue Snail
Cyphoma gibbosum


Banco Chinchorro, Mexico




The flamingo tongue is a marine snail that belongs to the class Gastropoda and is related to terrestrial animals such as garden snails and slugs. It feeds on toxic soft corals and gets its striking colored mantle from these toxins that build up in their bodies. The beautiful spots seen on the shell are part of its mantle and disappear when the animal dies. Is preyed upon by hogfish, pufferfishes, and Caribbean spiny lobsters who feed on the soft inner body.

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Octavio Aburto
Professional photographer associated at the iLCP and a Associate Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography
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