Almost all of us are known to seashells. Basically a seashell or sea shell or sometimes it is also termed simply as shell is a hard, protective outer layer which is being created by an animal that lives in the sea. It does not depend that how much deep the sea animal lives. There are thousands of research studies that have been written and conducted on sea shells. There are research studies from reliable sources that have confirmed that sea shells are the part of the animal that live in the sea. Most of the times, we witnessed different empty sea shells that have been washed up on different places of the beaches. These sea shells are often found washed up on beaches by beachcombers. They are called empty sea shells due to the fact that the animal has died and the soft part of that animal has been eaten up by another animal inside or outside the sea or sometimes it happen due to the fact that it has been rotted out.
When we talk about sea shells scientifically, the term sea shells usually refers to the exoskeleton of an animal that is without a backbone. In scientific term, those animals without backbones are termed as invertebrates. There are different research studies that have been conducted on sea shells and almost all the researchers are of the opinion that most shells that are found on beaches are the shells of marine mollusks because these shells endure better than other sea shells.
The research studies have not stopped here. Most of the research reports have also concluded that not only the mollusks shells, but other shells have also been found on beaches and they belong to families of barnacles, horseshoe crabs and brachiopods. In addition to this, there are also different other types of sea shells that are found on the beaches.
In many countries of the world, the trading of sea shells has become a profitable business. There are different types of sea shells that are available in the market. The sea shells have been used by human beings for different purposes and this thing has long and old history. They have been used by human being for different purposes since ancient times. It is also possible to find shells from freshwater animals such as freshwater muscles and freshwater snails. You will be surprised to know that it is also possible to find shells of land snails.
Where from Sea Shells Come?
Long ago there was a time when no one was aware about the origin of sea shells. People were unable to find that where from these sea shells come? Now the time has changed. Thousands of research studies have been conducted on the sea shells, their types, their families, their surfaces, their properties and on their origin. All of the research studies have concluded that sea shells are external skeletons of a class of marine animals which are known as Mollusks. As humans have their skeleton inside their bodies, the mollusks have skeleton outside to their bodies. This thing helps them in protecting against the different predators, strong currents and storms etc. As far as the making configuration of sea shells is concerned, they are mainly made of calcium which is considered as a hard material itself.
Types of Sea Shells
As we mentioned above that there are different types of sea shells that have been found since now. They vary from each other on the basis of size, color and made. Some sea shells are small white while others are big and they can be of any color. The sea shells normally come up to the surface of sandy beaches and shores when the death of mollusks happens inside them. When we study deeply about sea shells, we find that some changes occur to the sea shells during the journey from the sea towards the land (normally shores and beaches). These changes happen normally towards their color and surface. On the basis of the colors and type of surface of the shells, the researchers are able to discriminate these shells in to different various types. Some research studies have also concluded that there are different types of sea shells that have soft surface whenever they are found on the land than they were in the sea or ocean. Following are some important and reputed types of sea shells that have been found yet.
- California Cone
The most important type of sea shells that is found on large quantities is known as California cone. The height of these sea shells ranges from 1.9 to 4.1 cm. Mostly; the sea shells of this type are broadly conical. They are normally of yellowish brown in color with a whitish band at an angle. These sea shells are covered with brown colored layer which is normally made of thick fibrous material. They are also widely collected sea shells across the world.
Sand dollar is a very common and also one of the most different types of sea shell. The marine creature found inside the sea shell shares the same name “sand dollar”.
This type of sea shell is very easily and commonly found. It varies in the size of the shell greatly. Deep under the salty water a conch shell is a home to snail. On land it is very famous for its beauty and sound and also much appreciated for this.
Different types of conch shell are:
Florida Fighting Conch
This shell is 7 to 10.8cm high and has thick surface. It is yellowish to chestnut brown in color and it can also have pale spots or zigzag stripes. This type of sea shell is more separated than others and is knobbed.
The height of this type of sea shell is approx 17.8 to 30.5cm. Pink conch is a very big and heavy sea shell. It is yellowish white in color and has irregular brownish markings. Fresh shells have a thin layer of periostracum which flakes off when the shell gets dry.
The height of this sea shell is about 4.4 to 11.4 cm. hawking conch is brown or grayish in color with white spots that are irregular. Vortexes of this sea shell are convex and slightly angled. This type of shells has strong body whorls and irregular spiral chords.
Florida Horse Conch
The height of Florida horse conch is 10.2 to 48.3cm. It is spindle shaped and is large having an elongated conical spire. It can be whitish yellow, orange or brown. It also has the thin brown layer of periostracum.
It is also one of the most common found types of sea shells. It is very commonly and easily found on almost every beach of the world. It is also like as a sea food dish in all the parts of the world. There are two basic types of cockles which can be further classified into around two hundred more classes. They are smooth, rigid and almost likely to each other.