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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.



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