Archive for Ponderous Ark

drilled heart in seashell

i heart seashells. Shells have a way of talking to us, don’t they?  They make us feel deeply connected to the vast sea and pull us towards it. This PONDEROUS ARK shell washed up at my feet with a heart carved in it. Awwwwe, so sweet! I love you too! But hmmmm… other than being an oh-so-sweet message from King Neptune, how did this happen?

i heart this seashell

We see natural holes drilled in all sorts of shells, so it’s time to find out how they are made. The hole in this SHARKS EYE tells me a little secret of what happened to its life. The clue? It has a perfect countersunk borehole with a beveled edge twice the diameter as the inner diameter. Because of the shape of that hole, you can bet that he was eaten by another SHARKS EYE!  OMG They are cannibals!

sharks eye shell is cannibalistic

We have to guess what happened to this next guy because it looks like a fellow predator SHARKS EYE started carving up his next meal but stopped before he tasted victory.

sharks eye drilled hole by other mollusk

By looking at the hole in this DISK DOSINIA, I’m going to assume that a SHARKS EYE made a meal out of this guy too.

sharks eye drilled hole in dosinia shell

Geez, SHARKS EYES have a smorgasbord of choices for their buffet. Looks as though they like BUTTERCUP LUCINES too.

sharks eye mollusk drilled hole in buttercup shell

A straight hole with only a slight beveled edge like this LADY-IN-WAITING VENUS CLAM …

lady-in-waiting venus clam with drill hole

…was most likely drilled by some sort of MUREX… like GULF OYSTER DRILLS. Aha! That’s why they are called “DRILLS”!

gulf oyster drills sanibel florida

The grooves in these CROSS BARRED VENUS CLAMS and TRANSVERSE ARK aren’t the handiwork of the SHARKS EYE or DRILLS. These grooves were most likely made by a BRISTLE WORM. It uses a rasping technique with its bristled body while secreting acid to etch a groove in the shell to make a nice cozy place to rest.

bivalves with bristle worm grooves

If you have never seen a BRISTLE WORM, click on the video to watch the first time Clark and I came across a BRISTLE WORM…. and then come back to see what cute tokens they make. YouTube Preview Image

Last May, Lisa from Shellabaloo 2 was having a great time sifting through shells at Blind Pass Captiva and found a few messages on shells she shared…

lisa shells bp

After Shellabaloo, she sent me this sweet CROSS-BARRED VENUS shell with a smiley face on it (made by a BRISTLE WORM). I keep it by my desk!

smiley face seashell

She also found a “K” on a CROSS BARRED VENUS…

seashell k for kendra

Lisa was so thoughtful, she gave it to another Shellabaloo-er… Kendra. K for Kendra!

seashell k for kendra

So let’s get back to that heart I received from King Neptune … these bigger holes most likely were drilled by a STIMPSON CHIMNEY CLAM. Oh, What? You’ve never heard of a STIMPSON CHIMNEY CLAM before? LOL Well, neither had I before I got so curious about what made that heart shape and found out that two separate drilled incidences by these clams are the most likely culprit. When I find a STIMPSON CHIMNEY CLAM, you will be the first one to know about it and I will post a photo. I already have an appreciation for them since they are quite the artists!

holes drilled in shells by other mollusks

I just assumed that a shell with lots of little holes in like this was just from regular wear and rear by the salt and wave action… like when you wash and wear your favorite shirt too many times. One day, you’ll start to see holes in it! But some times shells that look like this tend to be “holey” because BORING SPONGES have invaded it as a living space.

holes in a shell made by boring sponge

I’ve always been drawn to shells that have holes for stringing them for crafts….

seashell mobile close shells

For gift tags…

sea shell gift tag

And I always love to see someone string them for jewelry…

patricia strings seashell with natural hole

I would have never known where to start finding information on these cool holes in shells if Lisa from Shellabaloo 5 (OMG I just realized… both Lisas from different Shellabaloos are fascinated with holes in shells too! Ha! They need to know each other, wouldn’t you say?) anyway… I wouldn’t have known there was such a term as “Shell Bioerosion” and such if she hadn’t shown me where it was in this book Living Beaches of Georgia and the Carolinas .

There’s all kinds of fun to be had in exploring the common shells if you just give them a chance. They may even tell you a secret!

sea shells with holes drilled by mollusks and sponges

Feb
11

I Spied An Ark On Sanibel

Posted by: | Comments (15)

common shell sanibel florida

I spied thousands of ARKS at Gulfside City Park on Sanibel Island this morning. Most days you can find TRANSVERSE ARKS scattered along the beach since they are one of the most common shells on Sanibel.

ark shells sanibel

There are a few different species of ARKS so let me show you the difference. Top row left to right-  a MOSSY ARK and a TURKEY WING. Bottom row left to right- CUT-RIBBED ARK, TRANSVERSE ARK and a PONDEROUS ARK.

common sanibel ark shells difference

It’s a little easier to identify bivalves and see the difference (and the likeness) between them by looking at the interior of the shell. 

interior ark shells

I only had a few minutes to walk the beach today so I just wanted to look for minis in some of the wrack lines I pointed out the other day in my Shelling 101 video. I found TUSK SHELLS (there were thousands of those too), a KEYHOLE LIMPET, WENTLETRAPS, CERITHS, AUGERS, a TURRID, juvie CONCHS, juvie OLIVE, and a piece of CORAL.

miniature shells sanibel gulf side city park

I also found a somewhat beat up LINEATE DOVE SNAIL.

Lineate dove snail sanibel

If you need any help identifying any of these shells, check out my Seashells Identification Page

common shell sanibel florida

As I walked this morning, I couldn’t help but notice this amazing village sand sculpture on the beach- with its own arena and swimming pool. I was inspired to write about ARK SHELLS because so many artists like to use these sweet little white shells as embellishments for their pieces of art- just like this beach artist did. ARKS are perfect decorations for so many projects. Inspiring!

sand castle village sanibel

If you have a second, stop by and check out my online Art Gallery…

pam rambo art gallery

Nov
29

Cockles, Conchs and Quahogs

Posted by: | Comments (13)

sanibel seashells on pen shell

After several weeks of east winds, the west winds have finally arrived to drive some shells on to our beaches. Today was only the first day of the westies but since it was a really low tide this morning, I figured I’d find some goodies. It’s always a good day when you find an ALPHABET CONE and you’ve got to see just how darn cute this little juvie HORSE CONCH is…

juvenile horse conch

I couldn’t believe I found this ANGEL WING sitting in the high wrack line…

angel wing bivalve sanibel shell

I love when I find shells like this BANDED TULIP lying on the beach like this.

banded tulip off donax

Tonya, Beth and Max from Ohio had their bags filled with all sorts of treasures.

tonya, beth, max sanibel seashells

Wanna look in their shell bags? I sure wanted to too! COCKLES and CONCHS and CLAMS…

sanibel seashell bags

Max found this live LIGHTNING WHELK in the high tide wrack line so he walked it down to the water and gently put it in the water. Good for you Max! You helped save this beauty.

live lightning whelk max

I found local Sanibel sheller Lynn walking her very happy standard poodle Alexander with a pocket full of seashell treasure too.

alexander standard poodle lynn beach

Look at those pretty those COLORFUL MOON shells along with those candies and a mini TURE TULIP.

lynn seashells moons conchs

There was all sorts of bivalves scattered along the beach. I found this ATLANTIC COCKLE, PONDEROUS ARK and SOUTHERN QUAHOG together on the beach just like this…

atlantic cockle, ponderuos ark, southern quahog

This is the biggest DARK CERITH I’ve ever found. It’s one and a half inches long!

1 1/2 inch cerith seashells

 I was pretty pleased with what we all were finding on the beach near Donax Street today after the first day of west winds. Tomorrow might be even better!

low tide shell collecting

Jan
07

Exploring New Seashells

Posted by: | Comments (36)
Yellow Prickly Cockle

Yellow Prickly Cockle

There were lots of YELLOW PRICKLY COCKLES still together scattered around the beach off West Gulf Drive access #6 yesterday. I always seem to overlook these because the ATLANTIC GIANT COCKLES catch my eye first. I’m looking closer at the bivalves (a shell with 2 halves) now since I’ve always favored univalves (snail shells like CONCHS and CONES).
Ponderous Ark

Ponderous Ark

See? I even gave this PONDEROUS ARK a second look when I normally would have passed right by it. Since the names are somewhat new to me (I would have normally named it an “ARK” shell but now I’m trying to learn the different categories too), we can learn these things together. So that means if I misidentify a shell, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Shell Collector Alan

Alan (Maine)

I think Alan favors the univalves (or gastropods) too since he is showing off a FLORIDA CONE and some OLIVES. Check out his home made shelling rake!

Sanibel Anne shelling

Sanibel Anne (Sanibel... of course!)

I found Sanibel Anne working that same pile and watched her pull out that beautiful HORSE CONCH that she’s holding in her left hand. She makes shell mirrors and candlesticks from the shells she finds. Fun!

Crab trap beach

Over 20 mph north west winds washed up this pile of STONE CRAB pots on the beach two weeks ago. No wonder there are so many PIG’S FEET on the beach. These were the same winds that blew in the excellent shelling last month. We are expecting some good north west winds today “they” say about 16 mph (I’m not seeing anything yet) but maybe that’s enough for my JUNONIA to wash up. (?)
Shell beach to sand bar

We had a little NW wind yesterday so I ran up to Blind Pass to see the shells were washing up on the Sanibel side. You can see in this picture how close that point of the sand bar on the Captiva side is to Sanibel now. Maybe we should do a pool on who gets to the closest date that when the Captiva exposed sand touches Sanibel exposed sand.

Sanibel's Blind Pass beach

Yesterday there were more shells on the Sanibel side than on the Captiva side. Like I always say ….the beach changes by the day. You never know where the shells will show up.

Snowy Egret shelling

Snowy Egret shelling

I took this next picture as I walked the entrance to the beach where there are sea grape trees lining the walkway. I had to stop to take in the beautiful palette of colors the leaves painted on the path.

Sea Grape Leaves