The Baler Snail is a large marine mollusc that belongs to the gastropod family Volutidae (volute shells). Of the 200 species of volutes distributed worldwide, around 70 are known from Australia. Many of those are endemic, found nowhere else in the world.
The name “Baler shell” was given by European settlers because Aboriginal people were using this huge shell as a scoop to bail out their boats and canoes. The Baler shell was also used by native people to store water. The smooth and cream-coloured surface, adorned with attractive orange-brown patterns, makes the Baler shell a prized addition to shell collections and in some parts of the world has put this beautiful animal at risk of illegal fishing.
Spotted this week on tour by our Eco-Host Jess was a snail on a snail! Why? Unsure! They could be family, could be mating, or could just be hitching a ride! Either way, we submitted this sighting to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Parks Eye on the Reef Network to help us further understand this amazing behaviour!