Turret Shells, often referred to as Tower Shells, belong to a family of gastropods known as Turritellidae. These ‘snails’ are filter feeders, which is unusual among marine molluscs and usually only seen the group known as bivalves. They spend much of their lives burrowed into sand or mud, and are only usually seen when they wash up on the beach, as in the picture. Turret Shells are quite popular in the marine curio trade, often being prized among tourists looking for souvenirs to take home. The purchasing of sea shells is not recommended, as although many of those sold may have been found washed up dead on the beach, it also encourages resourceful local residents to harvest other more sought after shells while they are still alive and well living on the coral reef. If you are a collector of sea shells, it is always better to wait until you are lucky enough to find one washed up yourself, which also adds to the excitement of this hobby and makes your collection something to be really proud of!!
About Reef Creature Clothing
We specialise in not only coral reef inspired athleisure wear, but also beach & swim wear, and other printed products. All our colourful and vibrant designs are made using digitally enhanced prints of real underwater photographs taken in the Caribbean. We donate all of our profits after costs to The Coral Reef Research Hub, a small non-profit organisation that seeks to help fund research projects undertaken by early career coral reef scientists. The projects funded are those that aim to contribute information that will hopefully lead to legislative change, and thus help to protect coral reefs and their associated resources for generations to come!
We write these regular ‘creature features’ to help you learn more about the fascinating inhabitants of the coral reefs where our images came from. More will continue to be posted over the coming months so watch this space!