You wanted a video? Is that what I heard earlier this week after I posted photos of lots of living sea creaturesin the low tidal pools? If so…. I’m delivering! I captured some footage of the awesome SHARKS EYE, STARFISH, SAND DOLLAR, FIGHTING CONCHS, BABYS EAR and an incredible LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL. Wherever in the world you might be, sit back and enjoy the beautiful life on the Sanibel beaches.
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!
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…
Almost a year after I made this video, low and behold, Clark found our first SHARKS EYE OPERCULUMwashed up on the beach.
We’ve also seen juvie live SHARKS EYES sliming around finding their way…
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.
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?
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.
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 EYE) and 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.
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.
See how many different sizes and patterns they have. Gorgeous!
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.
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.
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 HEREfor information and some new dates for iLoveShelling Shelling Adventures into February 2015 …
I love to travel… but more than anything, I love to come home to my beautiful island of Sanibel. Sanibel is like getting to finally sleeping in your own bed or taking your first good breathe of fresh air.
Yep. Super Sheller Clark found this beautiful ALPHABET CONE last night at the Lighthouse beach. We just couldn’t wait any longer to see our own contented beach. Clark was looking at this CONE like it was a long lost friend.
I was enjoying all the signs of a beautiful life on our islands. I picked up this gorgeous KINGS CROWN (above) then realized it was full of life and health so I was happy I scooped up so much sand with “him”. He went right on his merry way when I put him gently back where I found him. The Gulf of Mexico was so full of life! I found a live SHARK’S EYE too…
And live KEY HOLE SAND DOLLARS. Did you notice I put the whole common name of this SAND DOLLAR? Sine we found those cutie tiny SAND DOLLARSin Thailand, I’ve been trying to figure out what type they are… when I realized that I’ve never said which ones ours are that we find here in SouthWest Florida. KEY HOLE SAND DOLLARS!
In the next photo of this same LIGHTNING WHELK, I wanted show you how much lighter the other side was but do you see that little string on my left hand ? While on our trip to Thailand, we were blessed by a Monk who wrapped this string with a knot around our wrists. I was told it was called a “spiritual line” and we are to wear it until it falls off and not to cut it off. It is for good luck, good health and to remind us every day that today is special so live it that way. I immediately thought of those strings I used to tie around my finger to remind me to do something. So every day now when I look at this string on my wrist I am reminded that today is a gift.
We even saw MANATEES wallowing in the shallow water just a few feet from us. Talk about a welcome home! Oh I love this place. Check out the video…
I hope the spiritual line this Buddhist Monk blessed us with rubbed a lot of luck onto these full of life MOLLUSKS and SEA LIFEto live an even longer healthier breeding life.
PS- I’ll show lots of more photos of Thailand soon!
I saw something unusual halfway buried in the sand near the Sanibel lighthouse at low tide. I reached down to find a large ball of meaty slime… which turned out to be a SHARK’S EYE MOON SNAIL very much alive.
Instead of following the yellow brick road, Julie is following the track of a live yellow BABY EAR at low tide. She sees the path on the sand bar and then follows the trail, digs in the sand and gently pulls up the yellowish mollusk. Are you ready to see what they look like? This is the first time I’ve ever seen a live one in person! Ready? Here you go…..
Live baby's ear shell
Really…this isn’t a photo of a handmade ravioli or smooched ball of wet dough. It’s a baby ear mollusk that practically surrounds it’s whole shell…..and it’s very slimy!
Leigh (West Palm Beach) holding a live baby's ear
I saw Leigh and her niece and nephew, Julie and Jack (Ft lauderdale), having the best time playing out on the sand bar in front of Holiday Inn on Sanibel. They were digging around, giggling and running back and forth. I had to see what all of the fuss was about. They also found live SHARK’S EYES and SEA ANEMONES.
Live shark's eye coming out of his shell
Live baby shark's eyes with egg casing collar
On the right hand side of the PEN SHELL is the egg casing collar for more baby shark eyes. It was Mother Nature’s huge touch tank out there last night. Now meet Leigh’s nephew, Jack. He loves the sea anemones.
Jack with sea anemone on Sanibel
Leigh and her family come to Sanibel a lot – every time the tide is really low. Of course, after they are done looking and learning about the mollusks and sea life they find, they gently put them back where they found them.