Penion sulcatus shell
This is a shell of the siphon whelk Penion sulcatus collected from Golden Bay. Penion is a genus of predator-scavenger true whelks (Buccinidae); members of the genus can be very large – reaching 30 cm in length, and there is also a rich fossil record for the genus in New Zealand. Penion species frequently inhabit significant depths (up to at least 2 km), although P. sulcatus is unusual as it can be found within the intertidal zone.
Felix Vaux is a PhD student in the Phoenix Lab at Massey University and is researching the speciation of New Zealand’s marine snails. Felix will use marine gastropods as a model system to test punctuated evolutionary hypotheses. Click here to see more gastropods that Felix is studying.