dog whelk

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English[edit]

A group of live dog whelks on the barnacles which they eat.

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Noun[edit]

dog whelk (plural dog whelks)

  1. A carnivorous European mollusc, Nucella lapillus, found on rocky coasts.
    • 1971 January 14, Graham Chedd, Peter Stubbs, Gerald Wick (section editors), Monitor: Starving dog whelks grow teeth in the estuary, New Scientist, Volume 49, Number 734, page 57,
      A recent study of shell-shape in the dog whelk Nucella lapillus along the Bristol Channel suggests - that in progressively less saline conditions the species lives in a colonising situation, where periodic food shortages, rather than physiological limitations, decimate populations and sometimes lead to local extinction.
    • 1996, Colin Little, John A. Kitching, The Biology of Rocky Shores, page 144,
      Evidently the dog whelks perceive the chemicals released by the crabs and their prey. [] Dog whelks are believed to have evolved in the Pacific, and to have spread into the North Atlantic in the Pliocene, during a warm period when it was possible to pass along the coast of the Arctic Ocean.
    • 2011, J. D. Fish, S. Fish, A Student's Guide to the Seashore, 3rd Edition, page 231,
      The dog-whelk is carnivorous; acorn barnacles and the mussel Mytilus edulis (p. 254) are the main prey species.

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