For many, collecting shells at the sea shore is a vacation tradition. While collectors often appreciate the aesthetics of seashells, they may not be familiar with the science behind sea shells and their various uses.
Shells, or exoskeletons, are made of calcium-carbonate, which is a substance produced by sea animals' fleshy mantles. As the animal grows, so does the size of its shell.
Sea shells come in a variety of textures and colors. Some shells have ridges, while others are smooth and glossy; some are solid-colored, while others feature spots and other patterns.
Mollusks, or the invertebrate animals that produce shells, are divided into two main categories. Univalves are animals with one shell, for example conchs; bivalves such as clams have two shells.
In addition to providing the animal with shape and rigidity, its shell protects an animal from predators by camouflaging it.
One can find shells anywhere where mollusks live, including the ocean, streams, rivers, mangrove areas and on land.
Different cultures use sea shells for a variety of purposes. While the animal inside the shell often serves as food, uses for empty shells include decorations for the home and jewelry.
- Photo Credit Petr Kratochvil/Publicdomainpictures.net
Seashell Facts for Kids
Seashells have been used many ways throughout history, from jewelry to money and animal feed. Mollusks are animals that live in shells...
Facts About Ocean Crabs
Ocean crabs are a member of the crustacean family. Crustaceans have hard outer shells, or exoskeletons, and have one pair of pincher-like...
How to Use Acrylic Paint to Paint Seashells on a Canvas
Many experienced artists paint primarily on canvas. Canvas is a suitable surface for painting. Strong and durable canvas absorbs acrylic paint well....
How to Drill a Hole in a Seashell Using a Dremel
A Dremel tool is versatile because of the many kinds of attachments it can use to do different jobs. One thing you...
How to Sterilize Sea Shells
If you have a batch of sea shells that you either collected on your own or purchased, you typically want to sanitize...