Wednesday, March 3, 2010
We are thawing out from our snowy weather so rarely seen in Atlanta even though we truly had our share this season. Today the sky is brilliant blue and a perfect day for a white shell Wednesday. (but then in my sea witchy world, any day is a great day for shells). Shells are magical to me in their beauty, in both their strength and fragility and their unique shapes. When I look at and hold shells in my hands I must ask the question, how can anyone deny a creator's existance when such gentle beauty is found in worldly abundance. One of my favorite shells is the Venus Comb Murex.
Another one of those incredibly delicate looking and brilliant white sea shells that house a marine gastropod (fancy words for slug or snail). Like the Wentletrap, the Venus Comb Murex seashell is common to the Indo-Pacific region. This is a stunning, white shell with its slender spines along its entire length often resembling the skelton of a fish.
A rather large, predator-scavanger species which usually feeds on other smaller mollusks and prefers to live in intertidal or shallow subtidal waters with sandy or muddy bottoms. It usually sports more than a hundred sharp spines. Perfect specimens are rare, because of the fragility of those numerous, long spines. The spines provide protection from maurading fish who look to eat the creature that lives inside this spectacular housing. Although the spines can hinder the movement of the creature the spines also prevent the mollusk from sinking into the soft, sandy mud where it is most commonly found.
X-ray of the Venus Comb Murex. Such a visually romantic name, can you not see Venus rising from the sea and utilizing such a seashell to comb her long locks? If not Venus, then certainly a Sea Witch.
This is one of the shells that I hope to find one day. Perhaps on a dive trip to the Indo-China region and the opportunity to take a leisurely stroll along the soft, sandy/muddy beach and happen across this shell as a few spines are exposed to the surface. Oh, how I can romantize a walk on the beach. Have a lovely day all. Sea Witch