Rapana vaquerosensis is related to the modern day murex or rock snail, which is a predatory gastropod. These sea snails thrive in a temperate to warm marine environment and can grow to be quite large, often with very ornate shells! 1,200 fossil species have been described as well, the oldest being from the Cretaceous Period.
These deep red and orange carnelian agatized sea snails from Central California are from a private ranch. Collected over 20 years ago, these are some of the rarest shell fossils known from the Western United States! The agate which these are preserved in are translucent and glow beautifully in the light.
Most species of muricids are carnivorous, active predators that feed on other gastropods, bivalves, and barnacles. The access to the soft parts of the prey is typically obtained by boring a hole through the shell by means of a softening secretion and the scraping action of the radula.