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Purely Dominica

Purely Dominica

This post was guest blogged by Dan Tanner

Dominica’s beauty is everywhere! Her mountains are majestic. The cliffs and bays and beaches of her Atlantic and Caribbean shores are breathtaking. Numerous magnificent waterfalls grace her rainforest interior.

Dominica is the land of 10,000 flowers. Hummingbirds visit those flowers, hawks circle in the sky, and pelicans, kingfishers and frigate birds patrol for fish.

Dominica has astounding coral reefs that teem with colorful tropical fish. And, Dominica’s waters are also home to myriad univalve (one-shell) and bivalve (2-shell) mollusks.

Trivia: A seashell, also known as a sea shell, or simply as a shell, is the common name for a hard, protective outer layer, a shell, or in some cases a “test”, that was created by a sea creature, a marine organism. The shell is part of the body of a marine animal. In most cases a shell is an exoskeleton, usually that of an animal without a backbone, an invertebrate. Seashells are most often found on beaches…source:Wikipedia

You can spot the wondrous and beautiful mollusks while snorkeling or scuba diving, or you can (as Ruth and I often) do; beach-comb for them on pleasant and fun-filled strolls. It is a great deal of fun to “discover” shells on the beach. As an added benefit, we know that we’re gathering shells of animals that have perished, and we needn’t worry about even possibly harming the ecology by taking a live specimen (or a shell that is serving as a temporary home to a hermit crab.




Here are some photos from our shell collection. I took these photos back at our home in Massachusetts (which we’ll sell when we relocate to Dominica next year when Ruth can retire). If you can see a white marble tabletop in the background, the photo is of a large shell (6 to 9 inches) that we collected on other Caribbean islands. The small shells shown on Dominican black sand or in a small (3 inches across) bowl or on the back of a book (the size of the print will give you an idea of the scale in those macro photographs) are all Dominican shells. These are not “baby” shells; nearly all are the size of the adult animal. We have collected some fairly large conch shells in Dominica, but the supply of this edible animal is nearly exhausted from over-hunting. It’s too bad, because large conchs prey upon the nasty stinging black spiny sea urchins, which have multiplied absent their chief predator.





Helmet Conch




I hope to be able at a later date to post the popular and scientific names of the shells in the photos. We have purchased “Seashell Treasures of the Caribbean” by Leslie Sutty, edited by the late eminent conchologist Richard Tucker Abbott. Ms Sutty lives in Martinique and when I contacted her recently she graciously offered to provide this information for photos that we e-mail to her. But I just couldn’t wait to share our photos of these beauties with you!

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Comment by Mindaluz S. Quiza
2008-07-12 23:07:55

I am a seashell dealer from the Philippines. I hope you are interested in buying Philippine shells from me. It is cheap and good quality. Thank you

Comment by Anthony Xuereb
2009-01-18 08:45:44

I like to buy some shells like Tritons and Cassis family do you have a list to send me with prizes and sizes thank you.

Comment by celeste
2009-08-01 08:59:31

Im celeste from manila, I want to buy sea shells , Im sea shel;l lover since 2000, I hope you will help me find some other shells

Please contact me at 09193750615

Comment by Dan
2008-07-13 15:39:45

Don’t be silly. Or greedy. We only collect specimane that we find ourselves and which do ont contain live animals.

Comment by Dan
2008-07-13 15:40:31

In the Philippines dealers have been putting species at risk.

Comment by samantha
2009-11-01 19:27:25

Hi, I am looking to buy some seashells, ones like you have pictured. They are those sphere ones that have holes in the top and bottom and are hollow. They are white, but usually have different colors on them. They also have little bumps. They are really quite beautiful. What are these species called?

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