She sells seashells by the seashore

August 25th, 2008

This tongue-twister was apparently inspired by Mary Anning – an unlikely fossil finder of the 19th century. Born into a working class family in Lyme Regis, Dorset, she and her brother made a living finding and selling fossils to learned men and well-to-do patrons. She was not only good at finding the fossils but also poccessed remarkable skills at unearthing them. Amongst her many finds were complete intact fossilised skeletons of an Ichthyosaur and a Plesiosaur.

Selling seashells was big business in the 18th century. When Europe expanded into various uncharted terrorities and continents, trade and colonialisation brought back exotic finds. Amongst these were all kinds of amazing sea shells. These were catelogued and auctioned, fetching remarkably high prices.

My molluscs shell collection is also growing and I used Keith Davey’s site to identify the species. It’s a good way to find out more about the ecosystem of the coast. Rather than the exotic kinds, they belong to common limpets, winkles, and sea snails.

Collection of shells

Variegated Limpet (Cellana tramoserica)

Shell of limpet

Conniwink (Bembicium nanum)

Spengler’s Rock Whelk (Cabestana spengleri)
Spengler's Rock Whelk

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