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Sanibel Island Shells: One Species at a Time

A white, elongated, and whorled wentletrap shell, seen from two angles.

Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum

Ari Daniel Shapiro is joined for this episode of One Species at a Time by serious beachcombers along the high-tide line of Sanibel Island, Florida. These “shellers” come in search of beautiful sea shells, sometimes no bigger than a grain of rice, that are the remains of marine snails, bivalves, and other mollusks. Along the beach and at the island's Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, we learn why Sanibel’s shores are so rich in molluscan treasure, and how shelling has captured the imaginations of scientists and enthusiasts alike.

Encyclopedia of Life and Atlantic Public Media