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Help ID these shells
01-21-2009, 03:18 PM,
#2
Help ID these shells
These are not actually shells, but they are shell-related. They are opercula (singular operculum) from Turban Shells (Turbo), specifically from a glossy, colorful species called the Tapestry Turban (Turbo petholatus), from the Indo-Pacific region.  The operculum is a sort of "door" attached to the snail's body in such a way that as the snail withdraws into its shell for protection, the operculum is the last thing in, and seals the opening of the shell, keeping out predators, just like a door.  These are widely used in the shellcraft and jewelry industries, where they are known as "cat eyes".  Other species of Turban Shells have opercula that vary in color and texture, some of them deeply sculptured with grooves and ridges.

Here you can see the operculum in place in the aperture of the Tapestry Turban Shell:

<a href="http://www.gastropods.com/1/Shell_251.shtml" target="_blank"><!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.gastropods.com/1/Shell_251.shtml">http://www.gastropods.com/1/Shell_251.shtml</a><!-- m --></a>  <span class="petit">--Last edited by Paul Monfils on 2009-02-21 20:18:38 --</span>
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Messages In This Thread
Help ID these shells - by urchin - 01-21-2009, 02:37 PM
Help ID these shells - by paul monfils - 01-21-2009, 03:18 PM
Help ID these shells - by paul monfils - 02-20-2009, 05:09 PM
Help ID these shells - by useastcoastcollector - 02-20-2009, 08:47 PM

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