Archive for Seashells

Aug
21

Living Like The Sanibel Shellbillies

Posted by: | Comments (31)

sea turtle hypoplastron bone

I found this odd looking “thing” on the beach a while ago so I brought it home to do some research on it since it was so dang interesting. Sometimes I’m like Shelly May Clampett bringing home parts of “critters” that get washed up on the beach. Hmmmm…. “Hey Paw, which critter ya think this here thang belonged to? Ya think maybe a moose antler? Or some kinda critter lost a hand?” Shelly May may have never thought it looked like an alien’s Jazz Hands but I do! LOL After searching lots of websites without success, I found the answer in my trusty Living Beaches of Georgia and the Carolinas book and learned it was a piece of a SEA TURTLE shell. It’s part of the lower shell called the HYPOPLASTRON.

sea turtle hypoplastron bone other side

Two weeks ago, my friend Susan from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba had found a bone similar to this one and asked me if I knew what it was. Yes! A SEA TURTLE BONE! I wanted to show her a photo of mine but I couldn’t find it. Omigosh, where is it? Oh lawd, my SHELLABORATORY still looks like a SHELLNADO hit it. Every time I start organizing our stacks of shells, something else comes along so it stays a crazy mess.  Seriously, we look like the Clampetts (CLAMpetts heehee) on the Sanibel Shellbillies. Ack! So back to organizing…

organizing sea shells and beach bling

Honestly, it’s like discovering fun things all over again going through these containers and boxes… and then…. I found my SEA TURTLE BONE! Yay! This time, I wanted to find a home for it so I wouldn’t “lose” it again. I’ve been saving glass containers for years to one day organize our shells and bling so I’m making good use of them now. Every SEA TURTLE BONE we find now will go into the large jar on the right. All other bones from bait, fish bones and bird bones will be separated in other jars so that it will be easy and fun to do another post to identify some of the things you might find on the beach other than shells. beach found turtle, bird, fish and bait bones

I can’t wait until my Shellaboratory is finally organized so at least we won’t be total Sanibel Shellbillies and I can easily find the things I want to share and post about.containers for seashells

… Like these MUREX shells I’m sorting out. I have 9 different species to separate so once I have a chance to photograph the individuals, I’ll have another “the difference between shells” post. I love those!

Muricidae Murex shells of Southwest Florida

On a personal note without shells involved, it was a sad day to find out our wonderful palm tree that became an amazing bird condo for WOODPECKERS and SCREECH OWLS with have to be taken down. There’s no way to save it due to disease and it’s become unsafe with any high winds since it’s completely hollow now. We are so bummed! Clark, Dustie, PuppyCat and I have witnessed many nests, babies and families come and go in the tree from our side porch view so we’ve grown to love seeing them every day. We hope to find someone who will build a replacement for our same WOODPECKERS and OWLS for us before next spring so please let me know if you have suggestions. The Sanibel Shellbillies don’t want to lose our critters!

rotted palm tree bird house

screech owl our tree

Categories : Bones, Murex, Owl, Screech Owl
Comments (31)

Neverita duplicata Shark eye shell identification

Whoa! Shark!

Naaaaa, it’s not the Jaws type shark so you don’t have to get out of the water for this one. Actually you want to get IN the water to see this type of creature… it’s a SHARK EYE (Neverita duplicata or as I always say “Shark’s Eye) seashell. Over the years of beach combing, we’ve been fortunate to have found these shells in so many different life stages to share with you so I thought this was the perfect week to sum up some of the cool things we’ve learned about the SHARKS EYE. Why not… it’s Shark Week!

Ajaelyn's shark's eye

When this MOLLUSK is still alive, its amazing to see the animal wrapped around it’s shell like we found in my post The No Place Like Home On Sanibel.

live shark's eye

Here’s a video of a live SHARKS EYE in action I filmed for a post in 2011

YouTube Preview Image

We only see the live SHARKS EYES at low tide scooting around in the sand but we seem to find a lot of empty SHARKS EYE shells washed up on Sanibel and Captiva especially after storms. We started to realize we don’t normally find the operculums. When Clark and I found another live one, we paid closer attention to the operculum to see exactly what it looked like so we could make sure not to miss one washed up on the beach. Why don’t we find them washed up on the beach more often? Dunno exactly but I’m assuming because they are so paper thin that they crumble easily when the animal dies and dries up. They also look like a small piece of broken PEN SHELL or a brown leaf so they are easy to overlook.  Anyway, here’s what the OPERCULUM looks like when it’s attached to the healthy animal still in his shell…

YouTube Preview Image

Almost a year after I made this video, low and behold, Clark found our first SHARKS EYE OPERCULUM washed up on the beach.

moon shells sharks eye operculum

We’ve also seen juvie live SHARKS EYES sliming around finding their way…

Live shark's eye coming out of his shell

We’ve seen lots of other live babies scooting around at low tide on Sanibel along with teeny tiny eggs in the SHARK EYE EGG COLLARS.

Live baby shark's eyes with egg casing collar

This is what the EGG COLLAR looks like that the female SHARKS EYE lays. If you see a ring like this while at the beach that feels and looks sort of like freshly made hand crafted paper, take a closer look then place it back in the water if that’s where you found it. There are hundreds of itty bitty baby SHARKS EYES in there. Cool, huh?

sharks eye egg collar

What do SHARKS EYES eat? They are carnivores who love to make a meal out of bivalves but at times they are cannibals …. so one SHARKS EYE will eat another SHARKS EYE.  (Hmmmm… that happens with the fish type Tiger Sharks too on occasion). You can tell another SHARKS EYE ate this SHARKS EYE in the next photo because it makes a beveled edge hole just like this. CLICK HERE to see that story.

sharks eye shell is cannibalistic

There are two types of these MOON shells that look similar and are hard to distinguish between the two of them. See how much higher the spire is on the shell on the left? The one on the right is a Neverita duplicata (SHARK EYEand the one on the left is a Neverita delessertiana ( FALSE SHARK EYE) I’ll do another post to show you the aperture side so you can see another difference but I usually just look for the “eye” that looks popped out.

difference Neverita duplicata delessertiana

Have you heard me talk about the “Paul Newman’s Eye”? Paul Newman was an Academy Award winning hunky actor known for his incredibly beautiful, brilliant blue eyes (I know, funny I thought I needed to explain who he was, right? But anybody under 30 might not know! LOL Oh wait y’all  would know “Newman’s Own”- thats the guy. haha) Anyway, not all SHARKS EYES have a blue center but when they have that handsome brilliant blue “eye”… it’s called a PAUL NEWMAN’S EYE.

Paul Newman blue eyed sharks eye shell

See how many different sizes and patterns they have. Gorgeous!

Neverita duplicate shark eye seashell mollusk

I had so many nice comments on my last post about the differences in SCALLOPS and that y’all really like my educational posts. Me too! I have oodles of photos and gobs of great information about shells AND beach bling that I’ve built up over the years, so I need to start combining them so we all can find the information a little easier. It’ll take a while, but it sure will be fun looking through so many older posts that have been buried by newer posts.

Sharks Eye shell

Dont worry, I’ll still post any shelling updates on the beaches but hopefully once a week I’ll pick a shell to research so we can see all the cool stuff we’ve learned over the years.

shark eye moon sand

But speaking of shelling updates…  I hope to see you tomorrow on our iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa with Captiva Cruises at 9am- Come join us tomorrow! CLICK HERE for information and some new dates for iLoveShelling Shelling Adventures into February 2015 …

shelling adventures trips by pam

 

Aug
06

Tuning Up The Shelling Eye

Posted by: | Comments (7)

Shells found at gulf side city park on Sanibel Island Florida

Gulfside City Park had some new beach treasures washing after a few days of heavy rain and wind across the Gulf Of Mexico. There were lots of DOSINIAS (DISK and ELEGANT) and other CLAMS lined up along the waters edge at low tide yesterday.

dosing shells wash up on Sanibel Island

While walking along the water’s edge with my good friend Mary (who has an exshellent shelling eye), I noticed the water had gotten churned up again with the wind so it was a little difficult to see the bottom even in the shallow water but that’s where all the shells were washing up. In another second, I watched Mary scoop up that marvshellous PAPER FIG (in the first photo) right before my eyes… and I didn’t even see a thing. Wow! Marvshellous Mary! I need to tune up my shelling eye- haha.

Mary with shells at Gulfside City Park beach on  Sanibel

I was happy to know my shelling eye wasn’t completely out of focus, I spotted this sweet SAND DOLLAR wash right up at my feet…

Sand dollar in seashells on Sanibel Island

Beautiful sisters Bronwyn and Brenna from California have been visiting Sanibel for 20 years and were thrilled to be here this week with complete shelling eye focus.

Beautiful Bronwyn and Brenna  with coquina shells

They were finding hundreds of double COQUINAS to make shell flowers. They try to join the shell crafters at Sanibel Community House each time they are here on Sanibel so they can learn more crafting secrets. Fun!

coquina shells found on a Sanibel Island beach

I didn’t see many new shells washing up at Blind Pass Captiva yesterday…

August sky at Blind Pass Captiva

I saw some interesting BLING tangled in some of the fresh weed lines at Blind Pass Sanibel and also some nice shells in the surf… so finding some goodies might be pretty productive on that beach today or tomorrow.

Blind Pass Beach Sanibel Island in August

As the Middle Gulf beaches on Sanibel looked to be the best for this week, a little birdie told me that Lover’s Key has been pretty productive too. ;)

Dosinia shells on a Sanibel beach

Lots of folks have been already been asking for my recommendations for places to stay this winter… Here you go!

popular places to stay on Sanibel Captiva

 

I’m still working on new dates for our iLoveShelling cruises but in the mean time, I already have some scheduled here… Join Us!

shelling adventures trips by pam

 

Comments (7)