UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
On vacation in Florida I found a live Lightening Whelk on the beach. It's against the law to keep live shells. So I threw it back. Far as I could. Later that day an owner of a Shell shop told me I should have kept the shell because I probably killed it because of the throw and the shell spinned as it flew through the air. Question: Did I kill this shell?
Question Date: 2002-07-25
Answer 1:

Whelks in general are fairly resistant to physical stress, and many intertidal species are exposed to and well adapted to deal with much harsher conditions than a little toss through the air. Unless the snail actually collided with a rock when you threw it and sustained significant damage to the shell, there is a good chance that the whelk that you encountered on your trip to Florida is still happily cruising the sea floor.

Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2020 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use