Charonia tritonis - Giant triton
In this video
We are on some isolated rocks at a depth of 40/46 meters, where we have found two beautiful specimens of Charonia tritonis, Giant mediterranean triton. This is the mollusk and consequently the largest shell in the Mediterranean Sea. In this dive we met two of them, we filmed the first one casually on the wall we were exploring, we realized watching the footage that we passed by without seeing it. The second was inside a hole from which we moved it to try to film it better.
These molluscs are quite rare in our seas since the Triton is highly sought after for its shell which can reach the considerable size of 60 cm. Furthermore, as can be seen from the film, the habitat and ecosystem of this species is threatened by human presence and by the way we treat our sea, by the usual lost nets, plastics and nylon lines that we now document in our films. In this video we also found the classic abandoned umbrella anchor typical of small pleasure boats with about ten meters of chain coiled in one of the many holes that could house the Triton like many other marine species.
Its spiral shape with a wide opening allows it to be used as a decoy tool and for this reason it is also known as a waterspout. It is a very voracious carnivore that lives in rocky environments where it can easily find food. In fact, it feeds on benthic invertebrates, especially sea cucumbers and starfish, which it swallows whole and digests the calcified protective structures of the victims through the secretion of sulfuric acid and aspartate from special salivary glands..
Triton is a protected species and its fishing has been banned for a long time now. In the past, its shell was used by sailors as a horn to communicate, with its particular sound, with other ships or to get help in case of need. Known since ancient Greece, he was considered the son of the sea god Neptune (Posidon) and depicted as a being with a human shape in the upper part and the lower part in the shape of a fish with a forked tail. He was credited with the power to unleash and calm storms by blowing his gigantic shell.
Charonia tritonis is also widespread in the Pacific Ocean and in the Indian Ocean. It is one of the few animals that feeds on the starfish Acanthaster planci considered a species that destroys the coral reefs. According to many experts, this starfish is to be considered among the causes of destruction of the Australian Great Barrier Reef.