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3237 Views 2 Replies Last post: Jan 9, 2011 5:45 PM by Kiteman RSS
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Jan 9, 2011 1:05 PM

Shell bought in a charity shop - what is it?

My son bought this shell in a charity shop for 50p.


We have no idea of its history or origins.


It is approximately 12cm long, and the shell feels quite thin.  It is slightly transluscent - shadows can be seen through it.


Anybody got a clue about what it is?




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    Jan 9, 2011 4:12 PM (in response to Kiteman)
    Re: Shell bought in a charity shop - what is it?

    It is a Baler shell, so named because it was used for baling out canoes in the tropical Pacific and as a water carrier in Australia.

    Sometimes it is called a Melon shell.

    A common Australian species of baler is Melo amphora. It's very variable - the spines can get worn off in older specimens. I can't tell you certainly if yours is that particular species as I'm not well versed in the group, but the light band is right for it. Try Googling Melo and see what comes up.


    It has a very big foot with which it smothers large bivalves and forces the valves apart. Then it rips out the flesh with its radula  (tongue armed with lots of teeth).



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