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Collecting and Identifying Seashells - Atlantic Ocean

Updated on July 5, 2018


Channeled whelks are predatory sea snails and univalves (having a single coiled shell). Its opening is on the right side (dextral) and its shell coils to the right.

It is related to the knobbed whelk and can be found to measure up to 7". The larger in the top photo measures 6 1/2", the smaller has attached barnacles. Whelks are actually predators of barnacles as they will feed on the soft inside of the arthropod (related to crabs and lobsters).

The channeled whelks live in sand just below low tide. The female lays strings of egg capsules that hold up to 100 eggs.

This whelk can be found from Massachusetts to northern Florida.

Channeled Whelk


The Gray Scallop or Carolina Bay Scallop is one of the few bivalves that swims. It measures 2" and can be found from Maryland to Louisiana.



Gray Scallop

The Atlantic Surf clam is also known as the bar clam, hen clam, skimmer, and sea clam.

In the culinary world, it is mainly used for clam strips, chowder and sushi. It can be found on the northern Atlantic coast (Maine) to Delaware.

Atlantic Surf Clam

The Razor Clam's flesh is edible and considered a delicacy.

It is also known as the American Jackknife clam, Atlantic Jackknife clam. It can be found on the North American Atlantic Coast from Canada to South Carolina.

Razor Clam

The "Test"

The Sea Urchin is actually a marine invertebrate whose outer skin is called the "test."

The skin has five fold symmetry (five equally sized parts radiating from the center).

They can be found in all oceans, and their roe is considered a culinary delicacy.

Sea Urchin

Sea Snails

The Shark Eye (two photos) is a preditory sea snail that is in the moon snail family.

Its range is from Massachusetts (and other New England states) to Florida and other states on the Gulf of Mexico.

Shark Eye

The Slipper Shell is a sea snail native to the East Coast (Atlantic Ocean) of North America.

Its name is derived from its resemblance to a boat or slipper. the inside of the shell has a white "deck."

Slipper Shells

Crafts Using Shells

For Seashell or Ocean Home Décor

Collecting sea shells has been a long time hobby of many vacationers to warm weather locations. Children enjoy walking the beach and collecting shells in their sand pails.

Organizing loose sea shells in baskets for table displays makes for great conversation pieces. They can be placed in family rooms, aquariums and bathrooms.

Children (and adults) can have fun with sea shells, pipe cleaners, and watercolor paints to create funny animal shapes (as seen in photo).

All photos in this article were taken by the author, Camille Gizzarelli.


If you lived or vacationed by the ocean, did you collect seashells when you were a child?

See results

© 2011 CamilleGizzarelli


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    • CamilleGizzarelli profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from New England, USA

      Thank you. These are seashells from my own collection and I photographed them as well.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      It is so nice to see someone taking the time to provide information on seashells that many children collect with their parents. The illustrations are beautiful.


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