submitted by Museum Administration on 23.10.2003
Scotch Bonnet, Phalium granulatum, underside. 8 cm long. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
Still quite common on Kythera is the sturdy Knobbed Helmet Shell, Galeodea echinophora, 5 cm long. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
The hypnotic, spiraling point of a Giant Tun Shell, Tonna galea. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
The Giant Tun, Tonna galea, lying on its side to show its wide, gaping aperture. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
Giant Tun, Tonna galea. Happily, these magnificent giant snails are still quite common around Kythera, and have been seen laying their eggs in the shallow waters of Diakofty. This specimen is 22 cm from tip to tail. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
Three little Tun Shells, Tonna galea. These sweet shells grow into giants up to 25 cm long. The youngsters pictured are just 3 – 3.5 cm long. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
Three beautiful Necklace Shells, Natica hebraea, looking pretty enough to wear, are very common on Kythera. The ones pictured are 2 – 4.5 cm long. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
A Josephine Shell Neverita josephina. Frequently found on Kythera, though less common than its close relative, the Necklace Shell. This one is 2 cm long. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
The Moon Snails, which include Moon, Josephine, and Necklace Shells, have semi-circular, spiralled doors that close the snails safely inside their shells. The door is called an operculum, and in the Moon Snails it looks like a flattened version of the snail itself. This one is 2 cm long. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
Moon Shell, Polynices guillemini, a sweet little shell with a bullseye point. 1.2 cm long. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
The underside of a Necklace Shell, Natica hebraea, showing the semi-circular opening for the operculum. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
The Triton Shell, Charonia tritonis, lives in deep water where it frequently becomes encrusted with calcerous growths. This one has been partially cleaned with acid to show the mottled outer shell. 22 cm long. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
Detail of the opening of a Triton Shell, Charonia tritonis, showing the dark, glossy, notched edges. From a specimen around 26 cm long. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
The dark operculum of a Triton Shell, Charonia tritonis, has an intricate pattern of whorls and swirls etched in a thick, horny plate. 6 cm long. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
On the underside of a Triton operculum are concentric rings reminiscent of a slice of tree trunk. 6 cm long. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
A collection of Slipper Limpets, Crepidula unguiformis. The shells in this group are very thin, white and shiny, ranging from 1 cm to 2.8 cm long. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
The Pelican’s Foot Shell, Aporrhais pes-pelecani, is a favorite with children because of its funny name and funny shape. The pointy ‘feet’ help protect the snail’s soft head. These specimens are around 4 cm long, measuring to the very tip of their spikes. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
Violet Sea Snails, Janthina communis. These snails can grow to 2.5 cm, but the specimens pictured are less than 1 cm across. Despite their small size, they are striking for their bright purple color. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
Though very small and easy to overlook, the Wentletrap, Epitonium lamellosum, is among the most beautiful seashells in creation. The narrow cones have deeply notched whorls traversed by conspicuous ribs, giving the entire shell a finely carved appearance. These specimens are less than 2 cm long. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
The Giant Worm Shell, Vermetus gigas, is an irregularly shaped tube with just a hint of the spiral coil common to other sea snails. Worm Shells can be white, yellow, brown and pinkish in color. Because of the way they twist back on themselves it's difficult to measure their lengths, but the ones pictured all have a diameter of around 1.5 cm across. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
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