Low tide exposed so many live shells this afternoon at the shoreline on Sanibel. We thought we’d find lots of shells to bring home but not today- they were all live. That’s a good thing! It’s wonderful to see all of this sea life alive, well, eating and breeding.
Did you know that live SAND DOLLARS are brown and fuzzy on the bottom and edges? The white smooth ones are dead and you can take them home….if they don’t break on the way.
I think this was the first time I’ve ever seen a live OLIVE! Cool! Can you believe this clump of MUREXES all piled on that PEN SHELL? Of course, after I snapped a photo of these live shells we put them back where we found them….to live happily ever after.
As usual, your pictures and commentary are excellent. As for the Apple Murexes on the Pen shell, that type of clustering of muricids is usually associated with one large female laying eggs surrounded by multiple smaller males. Although it is best not to disturb these shells while they are laying and fertilizing egges, without temporarily removing one or two of the shells, it might have been difficult to see the underlying egg case being laid. Thanks for the pictures.
Talk about excellent commentary! Thanks, MurexKen for the great info on that pile of murexes. We thought they might be breeding but like you said, we didn’t want to disturb them just to satisfy our curiosity.
I’ve never seen a live Olive either, that is so cool!
When I first featured you on my blog, one of my closet friends checked it out. She doesn’t leave comments (on mine either), but I know she’s been here. Yesterday on Facebook I told her I had seen some wonderful photos and she yes she had seen them on I Love Shelling also. She also told me she ran into a woman from NJ who had come to the area because of your blog. Honey, your helping the tourism industry in Florida!
Thank you so much for telling me that….it’s so very thoughtful! It really is an amazing place, as you know. I had 2 retail shops here on the islands years ago and I know how hard it is to survive in a small business here. If I can help at all, it’s nice to know. Thank you, Rhonda!
Just keep on doing what you’re doing Pam and they will come, lol.
I just found your blog and was so excited to see that there are still sooo many shells on Sanibel.
I used to go down theyre when i was a kid with my parents…my room was shell themed.
Anyway, my hubby and I are coming down on June 11-13th and one of the things I wanted to do was go shelling. We are staying at the Anchor Inn… can you give me any recommendations as to where the best place to shell would be.
Thanks so much for your fun and informative blog.
Finding all those live creatures is certainly exciting news. Your pictures are really great!
Have a beachy day & wonderful Memorial weekend.
Marie @ Sally Lee by the Sea
“Celebrating the Coastal Lifestyle”
I’m glad you’re educating people about the sand dollars — I hope every visitor reads your blog and stops collecting the live ones! I have never seen a live olive — someone told me they were poisonous. Have you heard that?
Live olives won’t hurt you- i’ve never heard or read that they are poisonous. clark was awfully lucky if they are because he’s the one who found out the olive was alive when he picked it up.
Most/all olives are sand dwellers. Around Sanibel/Captiva the live lettered olives are usually found on the sand bars making trails at low tide. They are just below the sand surface crawling around looking for food. They sure are pretty shells with their glossy surface. Olives are not poisonous to humans. No cone shell found around Sanibel/Captiva is poisonous. As a general statement, the only cone shells that are poisonous to humans are ones that come from the Pacific and Indian oceans. These poisonous cones have wide apertures and usually feed on fish (aka piscivores). Here is a website that is informative and has links to some incredible videos of cone shells eating small fish (not for the faint of heart):
Hope this is helpful.
That cone snail video is so wild!
I learn so much from your site. It’s the first thing I go to in the morning. Thanks also to Kenmurex for all his information.
OOps! I meant MurexKen!
Reporting in from the Rocks area, hundreds of live murex & sea urchins in the water! Saw several live banded tulips, medium size horse conchs and VanHinying cockles. The super low tide is uncovering lots of goodies & the birds are feasting on bait fish! Water is super clear. Life is good on Sanibel Island! :-D
Wow! Great report, JoJo! The Rocks area on West Gulf Drive, right? You said it- the water has been so pretty.
Yep, just watched the sun set and moon rise…water is still crystal clear and I’m stalking the elusive Junonia. :-)