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13 Stunning Seashells And Their Rightful Owners

Come visit The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel and start collecting Mother Nature's tiny works of art.

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1. Lightning Whelk

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The lightning whelk is a sea snail that actually eats other things in shells, like oysters, scallops, and clams, oh my!

2. Murex

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The dye this mollusk produces is a deep purple color, which was once used to make royal robes and clothing. Hence the term "royal purple."

3. Florida Fighting Conch

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This sea snail lives in warm Floridian waters in its special shell, which allows its eyes to peak outside while its body stays within the safety of the shell.

4. Wentletrap

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Wentletraps are rare and extremely difficult to find, but when you find one, you’ll know immediately. Their name is derived from the Dutch word “wendeltrappe,” which means “spiral staircase.” Wentletraps have been popular with royalty for centuries, so if you find one, hold onto it tight.

5. Horse Conch

When getting attacked, this tropical sea snail can retreat its entire body tightly back into its shell — however, it's not strong enough for some of its predators. Starfish are able to penetrate through the stomach and basically ingest the snail while he's chillin' in his home. Octopuses also use their suction to force the snail out. Sorry, snail.
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When getting attacked, this tropical sea snail can retreat its entire body tightly back into its shell — however, it's not strong enough for some of its predators. Starfish are able to penetrate through the stomach and basically ingest the snail while he's chillin' in his home. Octopuses also use their suction to force the snail out. Sorry, snail.

6. Banded Tulip

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The tulip is named after its shape, which resembles a tightly closed tulip flower. Inside this shell lives the black snail, which has a toothed tongue to bite through the shells of its prey.

7. Junonia

These snail shells are considered tough to find, as they normally live in deeper waters and only get swept to shores after hurricanes. They're named after the Roman goddess Juno. So stay in school, kids — you too could grow up to become a goddess and have a rare snail species named after you!
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These snail shells are considered tough to find, as they normally live in deeper waters and only get swept to shores after hurricanes. They're named after the Roman goddess Juno. So stay in school, kids — you too could grow up to become a goddess and have a rare snail species named after you!

8. Spiny Jewel Box

The spines of the spiny jewel box give it its distinct look and are used to protect them from predators like moon snails. Jewel boxes range in color, but you can immediately recognize them from their spikes.
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The spines of the spiny jewel box give it its distinct look and are used to protect them from predators like moon snails. Jewel boxes range in color, but you can immediately recognize them from their spikes.

9. Scallop

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Scallops actually have up to 100 eyeballs. One. Hundred. Eyeballs. Scallops!! Just some food for thought next time you see them on the menu. 😝

10. Angel Wings

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The clam that lives between the wings is much stronger than its fragile exterior. The clam itself can gnaw through metamorphic rock, but the shells are weak and cannot completely close shut to protect it from predators.

11. Keyhole Limpet

The top opening of the limpet mollusk actually serves as the gateway for waste, as its body is basically built upside down. So steer clear of the exit hole!
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The top opening of the limpet mollusk actually serves as the gateway for waste, as its body is basically built upside down. So steer clear of the exit hole!

12. Sand Dollar

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Sand dollars own their shell bodies and have mouths directly in the center of them. Their mouths even have a jaw, but it takes them about a quarter of an hour to chew their food and up to two days to digest it. NEAT.

13. Auger

Auger shells are home to small snails that use a poisonous barb to shock their prey. Pretty on the outside, evil on the inside. 😈
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Auger shells are home to small snails that use a poisonous barb to shock their prey. Pretty on the outside, evil on the inside. 😈

Win a trip to The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel and celebrate National Seashell Day by collecting all the tiny treasures the ocean has to offer. In the meantime, learn more about shelling right here!