13 May 2011

A souvenir from Florida: whelk egg case

I found this object at the beach on Honeymoon Island in Florida last month. It is the egg case of a marine snail, specifically one of the snails known as whelks (family Buccinidae). I can't get any more specific than that, for I don't know much about whelks.

Nor do I know what these cases are made of. They don't seem to contain calcium carbonate, yet they are quite resistant to decay. This particular one apparently sat on the bottom of the sea long enough for what appear to be bryozoan colonies to spread on its surface.

A snail does not produce an egg case like this one as a complete unit. What seems to happen is that the snail makes one unit (capsule) at a time while stringing them up on a cord one by one to end up with this structure.


Anonymous said...

HI Aydin,

Cool, you found a "mermaid's necklace"!

This is from one of the species of large whelk in the genus Busycon but I don't know them well enough to be able to tell you which species laid this string.

If the structure rattles when dry, there are embryonic shells in the capsules. You could open one and look.

Susan J. Hewitt

sully86 said...

can u hear the ocean's wave sound by putting your ear into it?

CLarochelle said...

Great eye! If I saw this on the beach, I would just assume it was seaweed. Great blog. And Congrats on your blogs of note status!

Kitty Hates Everything said...

That's so exciting looking! What do you do with all the things you pick up? Do you keep them or put them back? I like to keep them but throw them away when I move house.

Gülen Sürprizler said...

blogunuza blogger'ın "ilginç bloglar" listesinden ulaştım ve gerçekten çok şaşırdım.. hakikaten ansiklopedi kıvamında çok ilginç, daha da ötesi çok orjinal bir blog :) tebrik ederim ve ayrıca teşekkür ederim. saygılar