Who ate these Maya apple snails?

Both photos taken by Bob Thomas.

When the water is low in the lagoons that surround Crooked Tree, Orange Walk District, Belize, the shore is littered with empty freshwater Maya apple snail shells (Pomacea flagellata).

On close inspection, some shells are entire and some have holes in the sides.  These conditions are clues as to who ate whom.

Snail kites use their hooked beaks to curl inside the shell and remove the snail’s body.  Limkins, however, simply pierce the shell with their stout beaks, loosen them from the shell, and gobble up the snail.

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