11 Jan 2013

Collections: she sees snail shells on the sea shore.

snail shells 2

Another collection to add to my personal museum of curiosities.  Where James and I had our picnic, there were hundreds and hundreds of these empty shells, half buried in the sand.  Most of them were paper thin and crumbled in my fingers the minute I picked them up but the ones that made it as far as my palm were beautiful.
The spherical ones are 'Flat Top' Shells and the conical ones are Colus Gracilis.  Disappointingly there is absolutely nothing interesting to be read about the critters that used to inhabit these shells.  My coastal wildlife book (the font of all seaside wisdom) simply tells me on which coasts you are most likely to spot them (less useful when I have already spotted them) and even the Wikipedia entry on Colus Gracilis is blank.  
However, in general snaily terms, did you know that as they grow they just keep adding to the entrance of their shell (known as the 'outer lip') which is how they never outgrow their shells.  And, my favourite fact of the day, 90% of snails coil to the right and only 10% to the left!  I mean that is basically like people - the right-handed-folks outnumbering the left-handed-folks.  So if you do find a snail that coils to the left, the individuals from the shell-collectors-club (oh yes, it really does exist) would love to hear from you!

snail shells 5 snail shells 3


  1. Interesting facts! I have a habit of collecting small trinkets myself.

    1. Ooh, I love peoples collections - what do you gather!?