A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about shells

Shells - NSW

large_Heart_Rock1.jpg
The problem with travelling, is you only have so much capacity. If you buy anything, or find anything, you have to carry it with you! Or in my case, send it home. But that's not always possible.
Whilst staying at Diamond Beach, I spent hours shell hunting.
Shells_Beach.jpg
The beach was covered in them! More than I have ever seen before, and some amazing designs and colours.
Shell_Beach.jpg
I would love to have taken them all home, and in days gone by, added them to my fish tank. But instead, with Chris's knowledge, I have put together some information on the ones that appealed to me the most. I have added some online images of the snails that would have once lived in the shells.

Amoria Unulata
Amoria_Unulata.jpgAmoria_Unulata_Snail2.jpg
This species migrates in the spring from deep water to shallow water sandbanks to breed (Smith, Black & Shepherd 1989).
Amoria_Unulata_Snail_top.jpg
It lays egg masses in the shape of a hollow cylinder, 16 to 20 mm in diameter, attached to the substrate. Eggs are contained in capsules in the egg mass, and embryos can be seen through the walls. The embryos hatch as well developed, crawling juveniles.

Baler Shell (the large one pictured)
Bailer_Shell___others.jpg
The shells of this large marine mollusc were highly valued by Aboriginal people, who used them to store water. The name came about because early Europeans recorded Aboriginal people bailing out their canoes with these huge shells.

Black Rock Crab
Black_Rock_Crab.jpg
The Rock Crab is a common Sydney species found under rocks around the low-tide mark.

Bristle Worm
Bristle_Worm_tube1.jpgBristle_Worm_tube2.jpg
In free-living polychaetes, the bristles, combined with snake-like body waves, help the worm to move along. Other sedentary worms have a leathery tube, sometimes decorated with pieces of broken shell, or sand and mud particles.

Cart Rut Shell
Cart_Rut_Shell.jpgCart_Rut_Shells.jpg
When it was first discovered, this species was named the Cart-rut Shell because the grooves resembled the narrow, deep wheel ruts of the horse-and-carriage vehicles of the day.

Cone Shell
Cone_Shells.jpg
Cone snails use a hypodermic-like modified radula tooth and a venom gland to attack and paralyze their prey before engulfing it. The tooth is sometimes likened to a dart or a harpoon. It is barbed and can be extended some distance out from the mouth of the snail, at the end of the proboscis. All Conus snails are venomous and capable of "stinging" humans.

Cowrie Shell
Cowrie_Shells2.jpgCowrie_Shell.jpg
The shells of cowries (especially Monetaria moneta) were used for centuries as a currency in Africa. Huge amounts of Maldivian cowries were introduced into Africa by western nations during the period of slave trade.
Cowrie_Snail.jpgcowrie-egg-shell.jpg
A print from 1845 shows cowry shells being used as money by an Arab trader. The Ghanaian unit of currency known as the Ghanaian cedi was named after cowry shells. Starting over three thousand years ago, cowry shells, or copies of the shells, were used as Chinese currency. They were also used as means of exchange in India.

Turban Shell
D525AEBEB162E341F1C05ABCF4C86C9B.jpg
The name "Turbo cornutus" literally means "horned turban," and it is characterized by a hard, ventricose, spiny, imperforate shell.
Turban_Shell_Trap_Door1.jpgTurban_Shell_Trap_Door2.jpg
What fascinated me is the hundreds of 'trap doors' you find on the beach - the door to the snail shell, which is closes tightly shut when threatened.

Green Turban Shell
Green_Turban_Shell1.jpgGreen_Turban_Shell3.jpg

Mulberry Whelk
Mulberry_Whelk.jpg
The Mulberry Whelk, or Black Oyster Borer preys constantly on other molluscs and barnacles. It is able to use a sulphuric acid from its salivary glands to dissolve and bore its way through the prey's limy shell leaving a neat hole in their shell, and use its rasping tongue which is called a radula to cut up the animal and suck out the pieces. to use a sulphuric acid from its salivary glands to dissolve and bore its way through the prey's limy shell. Like the hole in the green turban shell below
Green_Turban_Shell2.jpg
Chris measured one medium-sized Mulberry Whelk's radula at 8 cm long.

Zebra Topped Shell
Zebra_Topped_Snail.jpg
This Zebra Top Shell ranges from Townsville in Queensland around southern shores to Geraldton in Western Australia. It is very common in south-eastern Australia. It is unusual how the Zebra Striped Top Shell gains its striped shell pattern. At certain times of the year the algae it eats contains a substance that the mollusc excretes into its shell to form a darkened band. It is not known if the number of bands indicate the age of the Top Shell. What is interesting is that the bands occur in all variations of thickness from very thin to very wide.

Lobster Pot Rock
Lobster_Brick.jpg
Left over and washed up from weighing down lobster pots out at sea.

Seaweedy beach
Sea_Weed_Beach.jpg
One day, the beach would be covered in sea-weed that had appeared over night. The next day, it could all be gone again, leaving a clean pebbly beach!

Love for the shells and the people at Diamond Beach
Heart_Rock2.jpg

Posted by charlystyles 13:55 Archived in Australia Tagged shells diamond_beach Comments (0)

Out & About at Dimaond Beach - NSW

Ausralia_Cave_Charlotte.jpg
Just along from Diamond Beach is Redhead Beach, a great place for shell hunting
Redhead_Beach.jpg
and then there's Nine Mile Beach
241CA416DFF29384860E884ADD1EB195.jpg
which goes all the way to the nearest town of Tuncurry. One afternoon I set off walking along the beach, but got distracted by the temptation of the sea...
Charlotte_Waves.jpg
As I walked back the sun was setting
Sunset_Beach_Reflections.jpgSunset_Reflections.jpg
and the fishermen were making the last catch of the day
Fisherman_Sunset.jpg

One of Chris's secret spot was the 'Australia Cave',
Ausralia_Cave.jpgAusralia_Cave2.jpg
where if you look from the inside out, the view is framed by the shape of Australia!
Ausralia_Cave_lookout.jpg
as Chris demonstrated
Ausralia_Cave_Chris.jpg

Surfing
Like most Aussie's that live by the sea, Chris' passion was surfing.
Chris_Surfing.jpg
It was such a pleasure to be taken out for my first surf lesson! and with an excellent teacher - I was standing up by the third wave!
Charlotte_Surf2.jpgCharlotte_Surf1.jpg
However, it's not always perfectly sunny in Australia, but it was a great opportunity to get some unusual shots of the rain on the water.
Droplets_Horizon.jpgB_W_droplets.jpgBeach_droplets.jpg
large_Chris_droplets2.jpg

Ranch Sorting
Ranch_Sorting.jpg
One of the local events Dianne took me to was Ranch Sorting. It's similar to Camp Draft, if you've read my blog from Victoria. It's an equestrian sport that evolved from the coomon ranch work of separating cattle into pens for branding, doctoring or transport.

Teamwork is the key during the time limit to cut out the correct cattle one at a time and drive them into an open pen while keeping the other cattle back. Each team had 2 minutes to get as many cattle in the pen as possible, starting with a designated number, and working up sequentially.
Team_Zebra.jpg
On the day we went, they were raising money for Breast Cancer. ... I've never seen so many pink cowboys and girls! ...and horses...
Pink_Zebra.jpg

Posted by charlystyles 13:28 Archived in Australia Tagged shells surfing ranch_sorting Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 2 of 2) Page [1]