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Cub Scout Shell Project
03-24-2012, 04:47 AM,
Cub Scout Shell Project
Hi.  I hope someone can help me.  I am a cub scout den mom.  We are working on a project next week involving shells.  I bought the boys these shells from the craft store, but I am having trouble identifying them.  I have tried doing it myself, but I am overwhelmed.  I never really thought about how many shells there are in the world until I tried to identify them!  And, to my untrained eyes,
many look similar to each other.  I hope someone can help me out. 
Thank you.

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03-24-2012, 03:52 PM,
Re: Cub Scout Shell Project
Hi Danielle,

I'll do my best but I can't ID them all to species level because some of the pictures are pretty small, and also some of the shells are not in very good condition.  I'll refer to them by number - Numbers 1-4 across the top row, 5-10 second row, 11-16 bottom row.

1.  A Pecten or Scallop shell (family Pectinidae), looks like it may be a small Pecten radula

2.  Looks like Gafrarium pectinatum, one of the many species of Venus Clams (family Veneridae)

3.  A Nerite shell (family Neritidae), species uncertain

4.  Coralliophila violacea, Violet-Mouth Coral Snail (family Coralliophilidae)

5.  Appears to be a Cerith shell (family Cerithiidae), species uncertain

6.  Probably a broken Turret Shell (family Turritellidae)

7.  A Cowrie Shell (family Cypraeidae), species uncertain

8.  A Cockle Shell (family Cardiidae), species uncertain

9 and 14 - Strombus urceus, the Little Bear Conch (family Strombidae)

10.  Probably Batillaria zonale (family Batillariidae)

11.  A Nassa shell or Mud Snail (family Nassariidae), species uncertain

12.  Common Dolphin Shell, Angaria delphinus (family Angariidae)

13.  Umbonium vestiarium, a small member of the Top Shell family (family Trochidae).  Umbonium shells are sometimes called Button Top Shells.

15.  uncertain

16.  A Miter Shell (family Costellariidae), species uncertain

All of these are from the Indo-Pacific Region (Indian Ocean through Southwest Pacific).  The most likely source of such craft shells is the Philippines.

I have included Common (English) names where possible, but the majority of shell species do not have common names, and collectors usually use the scientific names.

I'd be very happy to help with your project.  E-mail me if you are interested, and tell me a little about what the project entails.  I'll be glad to send you a box of shells, much better quality than these (which are typical of shells from a craft shop).  <!-- e --><a href=""></a><!-- e -->

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