Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Shell Game

Whilst scouring the reef for interesting things, I happened upon a small treasure. Lying in the sand and rubble at the base of a coral head was this perfect spiked helmet shell ( Casmaria erinaceus kalosmodix).

Photo Copyright 2013 by Barry Fackler
The shell was clean and perfectly intact - a rarity on the Big Island where a lot of the predators just crush shells and eat the contents. When one does find an intact shell, it is often inhabited by it's mollusk builder or a hermit crab. The inhabitant of this shell was probably eaten just hours before by a cone or Triton's trumpet snail.

Just to be clear with you, the shell is now in my collection. If I come across something this beautiful during a dive and I can have it without taking a life, then I consider it a gift from The Sea and I am grateful.

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