A sea snail is called nature’s shell collector (Xenophoridae). The snail is called so because whenever it moves in sea other snails come and stick to it as it discharges a sticky substance from its body.

Hence snails with shells come and attach to the shell of Xenophoridae like the way metals are attracted to magnetite.

This was among the facts that were highlighted at an exhibition here on Friday. “Now researchers are trying to find out whether the gummy substance can be used to cement bone fracture,” said K. Bhasker Shenoy, Chairman, Department of Applied Zoology, Mangalore University, which has organised the three-day exhibition.

Xenophoridae is one among thousands of shells on display at Ravindra Kalabhavan, University College. The exhibition is displaying shells, specimens of butterflies, insects and earthworms.

Butterflies

Mr. Hosabale said that in four years from 1998, he collected 256 species of butterflies under a project sponsored by Wildlife Conservation Society – India programme. It is estimated that there are about 330 species of butterflies in the country, of which 61 are endemic, he said.

Showing southern birdwing, he said that it is the country’s largest butterfly while a crimson rose butterfly has poison, and hence, predators do not eat them. Blue Nawab butterfly is the most endangered species of butterfly, Mr. Hosabale said.

The exhibition remains open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. till Sunday.

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