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Collecting seashells on the beaches of Sanibel, Captiva and the world

Our Adventures Of Collecting Seashells In Thailand – Part 3

spotted tun thailand

These are Super Sheller Clark’s prized possession seashells he found on our trip to Thailand… not one but two SPOTTED TUNS !

clark tun shells thailand

Within minutes of getting to the east side of Ao Nang in Krabi, he found these bad boys several feet away from each other high on the beach in the weed line.

spotted tun on thailand beach krabi

We had seen broken pieces of them throughout our trip but were afraid we wouldn’t find them as a whole shell on the beach since they are so fragile. Wrong! They are in great shape!

spotted tun- Tonna tesselata

 I found out the word “tun” means wine jar or wine cask. This seems fitting because Clark looked like he wanted to throw a party right there on the beach and drink wine right out of these guys to shellebrate!

clark tun thailand

 We got them home safely and I’ve already displayed them in a white washed wooden bowl with some other pieces we found on our trip.

thailand seashells coral display

 I didnt want any other shells competing with Clark’s new babies so I chose to display them with some other sea life we found on the Thailand beaches. I didn’t know that I wasn’t supposed to bring CORAL back into the United States from other countries. I just learned that from Susan H who posted that on my last post– OOPS!  Too late- sorry, CITES! Well, At least I feel good about not taking too much- only a few pieces from each beach…It was so hard to choose which pieces of CORAL we were going to bring home but this is what we ended up with…

thailand coral phuket krabi

 These are the biggest OPERCULUMS (SHIVA SHELLS) I’ve ever seen! I would have loved to see the TURBAN shell that these came from. Geesh! The biggest one is 3 inches wide…

turban operculums 3 inches

The first time I picked up one of these, I yelled to Clark… “I found the biggest stinkin JINGLE you’ve ever seen!”. Haha Then I realized what it was… a CAPIZ SHELL. I used to have trays and dishes made out of these shells. I’m sure you have seen these in some kind of home decor but it’s really cool to find them on the beach.

Placuna placenta capiz shells

 I threw in a few of the AUGERS (or TURRETS) we found to give my little display a different texture and balance (heehee) so Clark’s SPOTTED TUNS would have a beautiful resting place to be shown off.

thailand tun seashells coral display

Although this day of finding these two gorgeous shells on a beach Thailand will be a memorable day for both of us, I’d like to recognize this Memorial Day for remembering the men and women who died while serving to protect our country. As we traveled foreign lands just last week, I experienced peace in the world because of the bravery of our fallen heroes and those currently serving in our military. A toast from our TUNS to all who serve.

Spotted Tun with coral thailand

PS-  I took back that Nikon J1. All of my photos are still with my trusty Panasonic.


  1. That man is an intergalactic shell magnet. He would find a junonia on Mars if he could get there.

    • LOL it’s crazy, isn’t it? hahahaha

  2. You composed a beautiful arrangement of the shells to highlight the prized Spotted Tuns– elegant yet simply beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing your fantastic adventure.

  3. Beautiful shells and Awesome memories…Happy Memorial Day!

  4. Happy Memorial Day and your display and shells are beautiful.

  5. Beautiful arrangement to show off those beauties.
    Happy Memorial Day to all.

  6. I want to go shelling there…

  7. OMG … LOVE the tuns! So perfect. :-)

  8. Fabulous! I love all the corals with the little arms and the tuns are definitely drool worthy!

  9. You see these beautiful specimens in shell shops and tend to forget they REALLY DO EXIST in nature!!! How lucky/blessed you were to find these treasures. JL

  10. What beautiful finds! They look gorgeous in your arrangement!

  11. Beautiful shells. Clark has an eye for beautiful things.

  12. The tuns are fantastically gorgeous. Fancy finding two of them at once! I agree with AntKaybe, Clark could find beautiful shells on other planets!

    And the great big operculums are lovely too. I wonder if they are from Turbo marmoratus, the great green turbo shell?

    • We looked up the Marmoratus… funny thing is, I found little shells that I think are Dolphin shells which look like juries of these. I’ll show them soon- so many shells, so little time ;)

  13. Thanks for keeping the Panasonic! Pics are great!

  14. Ooooh aaahhhh!!! Just beautiful! :D

  15. What was your best shell find, Pam? Hope no one comes to confiscate your coral treasures ;-) Love your tribute to the troops — God bless America!!!

    • Cindy from MN, …..hmmmmm, I’m not sure I have a favorite or one spectacular shell that I found that I covet more than the others. They are all magnificent to me (I know that sounds corndoggie but it’s true). I rarely race to the beach with my nose to the grind to find the best shell (but the day I did that, I found my junonia- lol) Don’t get me wrong, I love a competition and I do like to find spectacular shells but most days when my feet hit the beach (especially on vacation), I have to stop to take it ALL in. I can’t help it. I stop and I look at EVERYTHING- the shells, the water color and clarity, the scenery, the birds, the wildlife, the bling and the people. I’ve got Super Sheller Clark to sniff out all the best shells on the beach like a bloodhound so I can enjoy seeing and finding everything else AND to be able to share it… AND have it displayed in my house.

  16. Congrats on the be-aut i-ful Tuns Clark !!! WOW , am I ever drooling !!! So glad you 2 had a wonderful trip ! Yes I can now say I’ve started a bucket list , hummm wonder what is #1 … LOL !!! Thanks Pam for sharing !

  17. No other words but WOW!

    • Exactly, so beautiful!! Would love to go there!!! Sherri from MN

  18. WHat an amazing find!! I have never seen anything like them…absolutely gorgeous!!! I love the simple white washed look you used to display….sets them off beautifully!

  19. Wow soooo pretty…..

  20. Complete perfection! These shells show the intricate details of God’s amazing handiwork on this earth. How lovely He made the homes for sea creatures and those abandoned homes are prized treasures for us. :)
    You are so thoughtful to bring praise to our troops today, also. I hope your day was blessed in every way! Get some rest. :)

  21. Amen, Candy! Well spoken.

  22. Spectacular tun shells–love the contrast with the creamy white coral and operculums!

  23. Wowwee Gadzooks! Great shells! Are the tuns like figs in fragility, or more so? I didnt’ realize Thailand was a shelling mecca. Cool stuff.

  24. That’s so impressive! Haha, I have been looking at your blog everyday ever since your last post, waiting for your next post and it worthwhile! Thanks for sharing your photos and wonderful shell display, the tuns really stand out! :)

    • Btw, how’s the shell so far? :)

      • I’ve given up for now. It’s too much to take in while I go through photos I already have (instead of properly photographing shells to send out for ids). So I will revisit the ids and just go with the common names of the species until I have research time and time to properly photograph the shells.. there are so many! Thanks Joash. The ones you have ided are such a huge help!!!

        • Haha :) No problem! :)

        • Haha :) No problem! Glad to help :)

  25. Very cool shells…beautiful display!!

  26. A dream vacation. How many pounds of shells did you send back? I would have filled a fedex plane. Maybe you could display some of those beauties at the next shell show which I am planning on going to next year.

  27. Hey Pam, I have managed to identify the cones! Yes, so here it is :)
    #3 – Conus quercinus (similar looking species: Conus parius)
    #6 – Conus zandbergei (similar looking species: Conus pica)
    Actually, I managed to identify them from this blog that is amazing. – INDO-PACIFIC&shells=on

    :) Its really comprehensive so I guess its worth taking a look. :)

    • Oh. My. Gosh. Joash. The link is incredible! Thank You!! I’ll look through to see what ours are too!

  28. Thanks for taking us to Thailand, Pam…what beautiful shells and gorgeous scenery. Love your display with Clark’s Spotted Tuns!

  29. Hi Pam,
    You might have mentioned this in the past and I missed it. Can you tell me where you went in Thailand and where you stayed. I would love more details of your itinerary!

  30. Holy smokes, just researching shells again on your blog. I have 2 of the shiva shell operculums! One is just a button size and the other is about 1.5″ across on Ko Phi Phi I wondered how a shell could get worn down like that but you have solved the mystery. Thanks so much. We are coming to your area Feb. 1-3 2014 and eagerly look forward to finding even one treasure.

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