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Northern Moon Shell

It may seem odd to be finding seashells in the snow, but a couple of days ago, I found a Northern Moon Shell while walking along the Salt Marsh Trail off Bissett Road.  It was cracked, most likely by a seagull that had broken it open, either with its bill or by smashing it on a rock.

Moon snails are carnivores that bore their way into other seashells such as clams using a rasplike tongue.  If you’ve ever picked a clam shell on the beach that has a small, perfectly circular hole in it, it was likely eaten by a moon snail. 

The live body of a moon snail is surprisingly large and covers most of the shell when it’s on the prowl.  The shell itself can be up to 7 inches wide.  Seagulls probably consider them well worth the trouble of cracking open, as their meat would provide a hearty meal.

Northern Moon Shell with shells showing bored holes

Northern Moon Shell with shells showing bored holes

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