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Final beach find – Day 30

May 1, 2009

Lightning Whelk

Chers Amis,

I meant to post this yesterday on the final day of April Showers but computer time evaporated. First of all, thanks to Jennifer at S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen for hosting this month of photos.  It was a great impetus for me to blog more regularly and also an opportunity to meet new people online and renew old connections. I will close the month of April with a shot from our beach vacation, the resolution to our mystery creature/object investigation, and a link to a blog I recently came across that offers a gorgeous viewperspective of the beach – and life in general.


knobbed whelk

#1 -This giant mollusk is a lightening whelk or Busycon perversum AKA Busycon sinistrum that Caddie and Scarlett found at the surf line. Don’t those names sound a bit twisted and sinister! We have named him Lawrence 🙂 Actually sinistrum refers to the fact that the shell opening on this species is on the left. Compare this to the knobbed whelk which opens to the right. For more information on snails of the sea visit the Georgia Department of Resources site on Coastal Critters. The Lightning Whelk is also a symbol of Texas.  Here is a coloring page if you feel so inclined.

#2 – Speaking of snails, I asked several marine biologists about the identity of my mystery objects.  The verdict:

“We believe this “organism” is a spent (already hatched) egg case from a gastropod (snail).   Some snails in the Usosalpinx taxon (oyster drills) lay similar egg cases but without the pointy projections observed in these specimens. We’re not sure what species laid this egg case. There are a number of species associates including a variety of snails that live in a commensal way with sea whips, sea fans, and other gorgonian corals in the Western and South Atlantic.”

Lastly, I wanted to share a link to a lovely blog I came upon a few weeks ago – shining egg . I love this post on the “Faraway seas.” Gorgeous.  Well, it is Friday, May 1 and I am running off to mass. No time to edit.  Forgive me.  Caddie has lost her good school shoes and needs help finding something better than rubber boots or flip flops.  Have a beautiful day!


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