Are you a beachcomber who delights in finding a perfectly shaped seashell while walking the shoreline? Do you know the names of any of those awesome finds? We can help with that!
One type of shell you’ll often see on Alabama beaches is a bittersweet, with an easily identified fan shape, ridges and scalloped center. These shells have teeth-like indentions along the inside of the pointed end and are usually white with brown or reddish colored lines.
Coquina shells are also plentiful on our shorelines. A coquina is an edible saltwater clam. Its shell has the look of a clam, but this is smoother and can be seen in a wide range of colors from yellow to pink to purple to brown.
Cerith shells are abundant where you find sandy-bottom bodies of water. These are thinner, horn-shaped shells and are often white, brown or even pink. Augers, like the ceriths, are thinner horn-shaped shells.
Common nutmeg shells can grow up to a couple of inches in size and are identified by their orange markings and snail-like shape. Alphabet cones, also snail bodies, are similar in shape, but smoother with bodies dotted with designs that appear to be letters or numbers.
Other shells found along our local beaches include venus, periwinkles, conchs, lucinas and scallops.
Another crowd-pleaser is the typically elusive sand dollar, which is a true treasure when found fully intact. Sand dollars found on the beach are actually dead sea urchins. They are easily identified by the petal-like perforations in the center of their bodies, which are bleached white by the sun.
What is your most treasured beach find?