South Carolina Sea Shells
Seashell hunting and collecting is a great activity in which everyone can participate. Plus, it’s a free way to take home memories and souvenirs of your awesome vacation! There are a number of shells that are prominent right here in Cherry Grove. There are also a ton of great crafts you can do with your shells. Pinterest has a number of fantastic ideas!
The lettered olive became the state shell of South Carolina in 1984. Pictured to the right, these smooth, shiny shells were discovered and named by Dr. Edmund Ravenal. He chose the name because of the appearance of hieroglyphic markings on the shell. The critter that resides in the shell is a carnivorous snail that catches small clams and drags them beneath the sand to eat them. Thankfully, these creatures seldom grow larger than a few inches and do not pinch or bite humans.
Often confused for Conch shells, Whelks (photo on left) are some of the prettiest shells found here on our shores. These shells come in a variety of colors and sizes but are tough to find intact. Larger varieties of this shell are great for using as succulent planters. I’ve personally had the best luck finding these after beach renourishment efforts or following a very big storm.
Another common shell is the Atlantic moon snail shell. These dimpled, swirled shells house sinister creatures. Atlantic moon snails are predators that prey on clams. Their method involves drilling a whole into the clam and sucking the clam out of the shell. That may be why you will sometimes encounter a clam shell that has a perfectly round hole in it – making it a great necklace choice.
Auger shells are another common find here on Cherry Grove Beach. These are usually quite small as they are delicate and typically get destroyed in the waves before making it to shore.
Happy Hunting! Please be careful to ensure that none of your shells contain live sea creatures. If they do, return them to the ocean where they belong.
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