Beach Finds - Seashell identification with photos


  Asked by Anonymous - Seashell identification - With Pictures:
Below are many different types of shell photos and descriptions of each of them.  These are also the same types of shells you would find on other beaches or in other states, but the colors can always vary.  Colors are also affected by age, because the shells bleach more and more white the longer they are in the sun and tides.

What do you do with shells you find?
I try to find one of all different types of shells, and if the shell is the same style I already have then I try to find unique colors or unique texture or something different so I add to the shell variety. The harder to find the better, because if there are hundreds of them laying around just like it then its not quite as cool. :-) I display them across my desk as I want to put them out where they will be seen. They are good conversation pieces whenever people see them, and seeing them also reminds you of where you found each along with the hiking effort you put in to go search for each seashell.

Oyster shell identification photo

  • Shells can have very unique shapes, or be very rigid textures on top and even have sharp edges
  • Most of these are shades of grey colors
  • Below show 3 completely different oyster shell styles
  • Can often be flat shape or have ridges angling out around outside edges

    Oyster shell photo

    Oyster shell photo

    Oyster shell photo

    Olive shell identification photo

  • Shells are long and narrow and spiraled on end
  • Can be smooth shell like glass or rough
  • Point on end. Pointed end often has hole in tip from churning in tidal waters and rocks
  • Long narrow opening

    Olive shell photo

    Olive seashell photo

    Murex shell identification

  • Shells can be pointed edges sticking out in many places
  • Can have edges or horns sticking out along lip or top surface

    Murex shell photo

    Whelk shell identification photo

  • Lightning whelk easily identifiable because opening is on left when you hold it up
  • Long tail and long spiral shell on end
  • Knobbed whelk is broader and has large spiral front face as shown
  • Pear whelk is the smallest, looks like a fig shape, and is smoother
  • Channeled whelk has extended from spiral, as if it was pulled out
  • Sand and churning in tides can often smooth out shells
  • Shells are often colored or striped but can also be bleached white from the sun

    Lightning Whelk shell photo

    Channeled Whelk shell photo

    Pear Whelk shell photo

    Knobbed Whelk shell photo

    Fossilized coral
    Although not a seashell, fossilized coral is found in the same location and can be as cool as any seashell. You can find pieces in many sizes, I like the size where its about baseball size or smaller because it doesnt take up much room on desk.

    fossilized coral photo

    Moon snail shell identification photo

  • Round spiraled snail shell
  • Can be colored or white
  • Moon snail shell also called shark eye shell
  • Can be large baseball sized round shell or small the size of a nickel

    moon snail shell photo

    moon sharkeye seashell photo

    Cockle shell identification photo

  • Larger ridged shells
  • Vertical ridges or lines
  • Often colored or striped

    cockle seashell photo

    Ark shell identification photo

  • Often curled nose or twist at end
  • Vertical ridges or lines
  • Often different shades of brown, black, blue, and many other color combinations

    ark shell photo

    Conch shell identification photo

  • Shell has large horns on top
  • Often noted by pink inside shell
  • Lip of shell extends way out and flattens
  • Conch shell is very different from whelk shell but people often refer to them the same

    conch shell photo

    conch seashell photo

    Freshwater snail shell identification photo

  • Spiral, round shell looks similiar to moon shell
  • Found in freshwater locations, not saltwater

    freshwater snail shell photo

    snail shell photo

    Clam shell identification photo

  • Flat texture shell with horizontal pattern
  • No vertical ridges like you find with ark shells
  • Common to find colored white, black or brownish.

    clam shell photo

    Jingle shell identification photo

  • Very light weight and often found on ocean beaches
  • Almost translucent like where if you hold up to light its somewhat see through shell.

    jingle shell photo

    Atlantic oyster drill snail shell identification photo

  • Very extended spiral point
  • Has textured shell
  • Smaller shell, roughly max size of 1 inch

    Atlantic oyster drill snail shell photo

    Nutmeg shell identification photo

  • Extended spiral point but also broad shell
  • Has textured shell
  • Smaller shell, roughly max size of 2 to 3 inches

    Nutmeg shell photo

    Partial and aged shells

  • Shells full of holes, beaten up, and weathered. It gives them character, and makes them different and unique.

    broken shell photo

  • Anonymous Says:
    Where do you typically find the oyster shells as I've done alot of beach hiking but dont think I have ever found an oyster shell (or even seen one).

    Anonymous Says:
    Just like different shells are found on different beaches, oyster shells in my area are often found in the brine water areas by rivers or creeks.  So location matters, just like some areas dont have conch shells and other areas they are common, etc.

    Anonymous Says:
    I like that 3rd shell pic from bottom (atlantic oyster drill shell?).  Very cool long point, never seen those.

    Anonymous Says:
    seashell hunting looks like it would be addictive :^)  I currently do alot of rock hunting for different types also and this is fun to do

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