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I need help in identifying these shells. We collected them in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Thank you!

<a href="http://www.photobucket.com/albums/v444/justmestace/IMG_7038.jpg" target="_blank"><!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.photobucket.com/albums/v444/justmestace/IMG_7038.jpg">http://www.photobucket.com/albums/v444/ ... G_7038.jpg</a><!-- m --></a>

<a href="http://www.photobucket.com/albums/v444/justmestace/IMG_7036.jpg" target="_blank"><!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.photobucket.com/albums/v444/justmestace/IMG_7036.jpg">http://www.photobucket.com/albums/v444/ ... G_7036.jpg</a><!-- m --></a>
I can't give you an exact ID on these because they are not molluscs. They are echinoderms, relatives of sea urchins and starfishes, and are therefore outside my area of expertise. These are of the general type usually referred to as "heart urchins" or "sea biscuits". There are many species, and many of them look very much alike (echinoderm specialists probably say the same thing about molluscs) :-)

Anyway, there is an online listserver of echinoderm specialists called Echinoderm-L who could give you a specific ID on these. They have helped me in the past with echinoderm identifications. You would have to subscribe to (register for) the list, as is usually the case with such listservers, but there is no cost to do so, and you can unsubscribe at any time. You can find the registration page at :

<a href="http://www.nmnh.si.edu/iz/echinoderm/body_listserv.htm" target="_blank"><!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.nmnh.si.edu/iz/echinoderm/body_listserv.htm">http://www.nmnh.si.edu/iz/echinoderm/body_listserv.htm</a><!-- m --></a>
Thank you!!