The Australian Institute of Marine Sciences is exploring using biological controls to help keep outbreaks of the coral-eating Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (COTS) in check on the Great Barrier Reef.
Sadly, COTS and cyclones are responsible for more than half of all coral cover loss on the GBR leading many to look to options to keep the COTS population in check. One option is to turn to the the Pacific triton. As you can see in this video, the giant triton snail loves to make a snack out of COTS.
According to the blog entry, Tritons have a very well developed sense of smell and can hunt their starfish prey by scent alone. They will hunt out and eat other species of starfish, but they seem to really like the COTS in particular.
One of the downsides to natural controls is the tritons are rare and only eat a few COTS per week, while COTS populations on the GBR estimated to be in the many millions.