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White Seashells And Purple Conch
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Macro capture of a collection of white urchin, white snail shells, white clam shells, white corals that sits on the lip of a lite purple giant conch shell. A beach treasures collectors dream. The shells are coming from different countries. They are from my personal collection of travel treasures from Cozumel Mexico , St-Thomas in the Virgin Islands, Ocean City, Florida, Porto Plata and more.--------- (From Wikipedia) A seashell or sea shell, also known simply as a shell, is a hard, protective outer layer created by an animal that lives in the sea. The shell is part of the body of the animal. Empty seashells are often found washed up on beaches by beachcombers. The shells are empty because the animal has died and the soft parts have been eaten by another animal or have rotted out. The term seashell usually refers to the exoskeleton of an invertebrate (an animal without a backbone). Most shells that are found on beaches are the shells of marine mollusks, partly because many of these shells endure better than other seashells. Apart from mollusk shells, other shells that can be found on beaches are those of barnacles, horseshoe crabs and brachiopods. Marine annelid worms in the family Serpulidae create shells made of calcareous tubes cemented onto other surfaces. The shells of sea urchins are called tests, and the moulted shells of crabs and lobsters are called exuviae. While most seashells are external, some cephalopods have internal shells.Seashells have been used by humans for many different purposes throughout history and pre-history. However, seashells are not the only kind of shells; in various habitats it is possible to find shells from freshwater animals such as freshwater mussels and freshwater snails, and it is also possible to find the shells of land snails.Seashells are commonly found in beach drift, which is natural detritus deposited along strandlines on beaches by the waves and the tides. Shells are very often washed up onto a beach empty and clean, the animal having already died, and the soft parts having rotted away or having been eaten by either predators or scavengers.Empty seashells are often picked up by beachcombers. However, the majority of seashells which are offered for sale commercially have been collected alive (often in bulk) and then killed and cleaned, specifically for the commercial trade. This type of large-scale exploitation can sometimes have a strong negative impact on local ecosystems, and sometimes can significantly reduce the distribution of rare species.The word seashell is often used to mean only the shell of a marine mollusk. Marine mollusk shells that are familiar to beachcombers and thus most likely to be called "seashells" are the shells of marine species of bivalves (or clams), gastropods (or snails), scaphopods (or tusk shells), polyplacophorans (or chitons), and cephalopods (such as nautilus and spirula). These shells are very often the most commonly encountered, both in the wild, and for sale as decorative objects.
Marine species of gastropods and bivalves are more numerous than land and freshwater species, and the shells are often larger and more robust. The shells of marine species also often have more sculpture and more color, although this is by no means always the case.
In the tropical and sub-tropical areas of the planet, there are far more species of colorful, large, shallow water shelled marine mollusks than there are in the temperate zones and the regions closer to the poles.
Although there are a number of species of shelled mollusks that are quite large, there are vast numbers of extremely small species too, see micromollusks.
Not all mollusks are marine however, there are numerous land and freshwater mollusks, see for example snail and freshwater bivalves. And not all mollusks have an external shell: some mollusks such as some cephalopods (squid and octopuses) have an internal shell, and many mollusks have no shell, see for example slug and nudibranch. Hard corals
Dish with beachworn coral pieces, marine gastropod shells, and echinoderm tests, from the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. Pieces of the hard skeleton of corals commonly wash up on beaches in areas where corals grow.The construction of the shell-like structures of corals are aided by a symbiotic relationship with a class of algae, zooxanthellae. Typically a coral polyp will harbor particular species of algae, which will photosynthesise and thereby provide energy for the coral and aid in calcification, while living in a safe environment and using the carbon dioxide and nitrogenous waste produced by the polyp. Coral bleaching is a disruption of the balance between polyps and algae, and can lead to the breakdown and death of coral reefs. Soft corals A x-ray photograph of a gorgonian
The skeletons of soft corals such as gorgonians, also known as sea fans and sea whips, commonly wash ashore in the tropics after storms. Plankton and protists
Marine diatoms form hard silicate shells Plant-like diatoms and animal-like radiolarians are two forms of plankton which form hard silicate shells. Foraminifera and coccolithophore create shells known as "tests" which are made of calcium carbonate. All these shells and tests are usually
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Beauty of this World...
January 22nd, 2013
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