Bailer shell

Melo amphora

Guardians: Billy Simmons (Normanby Island), Paul Myers (Ocean Free)

This is not just a hunter but it hunts the hunters, chasing down other predatory molluscs with its extremely large foot.

When it catches its prey it wraps them up in its foot and then releases paralysing toxin (acid). It then carries them away, sometimes burying itself in the sand to digest them. It can grow into a very large shell (50cm long) and was used to bail out water in boats (bailer shell). It was also used by the aborigines long ago to carry water and traded among tribes such that shells 2000 years old have been found in the desert.

It can create a rare yellow pearl that can grow the size of a golf ball and was worn by emperors (only 9 have ever been auctioned, some costing hundreds of thousands of dollars).

Lays the most incredible egg casing, which feels like plastic and has a hole through the centre to aerate the eggs (more than 100 eggs).