Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Beautiful Shell

I found this beautiful Triton's Trumpet shell (Charonia tritonis) while diving this Saturday at Honaunau. It was close to a foot long and still occupied by its builder. The Triton's Trumpet is a snail just like the ones you would find in your garden except it is specially adapted for its marine habitat.

Photo Copyright 2013 by Barry Fackler
The top of the shell has a coating of marine growth and sand as such things tend to settle on slow moving surfaces.

Photo Copyright 2013 by Barry Fackler
The underside is generally clean and glossy, particularly the aperature which is the "hole" the creature protrudes out of. The yellow and tan matter is the creature's muscular foot. The brownish oval is the operculum, a toenail-like structure that seals the aperature securely shut when the snail retracts into its shell. the operculum is the final wall that, along with the shell, completely protects the snail's soft body from would-be predators.

Life is full of beautiful things. Take time to enjoy them!

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