Seashell Identification: How It Began

I am not a seashell expert, just an everyday person who has taken an interest in identifying the Florida shells I have collected over the years.  

This page is about how and why the seashell identification blog began.

The east coast Florida beaches never offered up a lot of shells, but coquinas and arks were regular finds. Of course back when I took my kids to the beach, I didn’t know any shell names. I knew the popular sand dollar and starfish (sea star) but never found those. And I certainly didn’t give much thought to the marine snails that made the shells.

My Early Blog Photos From 2009

When I began working at Zazzle, back in 2007, I used some of my photography to make products to sell. That led to beginning this blog. I began writing from my New Hampshire home and used photos of the shells I had collected over the years.

Believe me, I barely knew what a blog was, and it’s been a learning experience for me. My about page has more info, so I won’t go into my life history, but these days I use the blog for more than writing about seashells. It is now also part of my online stores where I have linked pages at the top menu of this site.

We Bought a Boat!

Once I returned to Florida to live, I knew I needed to get away from the crowds by escaping to the water. So, we bought a boat. It’s a Hewes Redfisher flats boat. That may mean nothing to you, but basically it’s a small boat with low sides made for fishing. The draft is shallow so we can go into some quite shallow water. It allows us to travel through the backwaters along the Indian River lagoon area and stop at sandy beaches that show up during low tide.

Now, I can also write about my travels to find shells and sea life because I live in Florida again. Instead of only combing the ocean beach, I can now explore islands along the river. Because they are rarely visited by beachcombers, I find lots to photograph.

Help Identifying Seashells

I began trying to identify all kinds of seashells, but have narrowed it down to the shells of Florida. Some of these shells are also found elsewhere, but the variety is too massive to cover well.

Once I had enough photos, I could create pages to help readers identify common shells they might find while visiting Florida.

I’ve also created free, printable coloring pages for home and homeschool use. I like to think that kids would enjoy learning about marine snails and other sea creatures. See more at the dropdown links at the top of this site.

Some Favorite Island Visits

Here are some truly wonderful and favorite creatures of the sea I encountered while beach-combing.

giant red crab florida
Giant Red Hermit Crab

Spider crab close up
Spider Crab

Every day out on the water is a good one, but sometimes I get lucky and see some unique creatures. The Giant Red Hermit Crab was one such find. I see hermit crabs a lot, but none like this one!

The Spider Crab was another odd creature I encountered while beach-combing in shallow water. Click the photos to read more.

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broken big knobbed whelk shell

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We’ve been getting rain like a monsoon lately but finally we got in an early day of boating to beat the thunderheads. We were on the water by ten in the morning, which is early for us. My son is not an early riser. With the chance of rain nearly always possible, we hoped to […]

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8 thoughts on “Seashell Identification: How It Began

  1. Pingback: Seashell Names- Two Little Shells « Seashells by Millhill

  2. Caron White

    Thank you so much for leaving such nice comments on my blog! So glad to find yours too, make sure to follow me on Facebook at “Caron’s Beach House” – love meeting fellow beachcombers. You ought to see my basement full of Sanibel Shells…

    Caron

  3. patricia King

    Found a puffy, roundish shell like creation with five slits on it. Some say it’s the inside of a sea urchin but we’ve opened several and nothing like it. It’s white, about 1.5 to 2 inches , very light. Can you identify this for us? Thank you.

    1. seashellsbymillhill

      Hi Patricia,
      Could your “shell” be a sea cookie?
      http://seashellsbymillhill.wordpress.com/2009/06/24/types-of-sand-dollars/

      It sounds like it’s an Echinoderm of some kind – those include the sand dollars and sea urchins. They are not actually “seashells”.

      Try this link (below)- it has a lot of photos of living sea life. Or search on line for others. I don’t know where you found it either, but I don’t know much about them.

      http://www.starfish.ch/reef/echinoderms.html

      Glad you visited my blog! Please return and let me know if you find it’s name!

  4. killlashandra

    You have some of the best seashells shots!

    I have to hope the parents were looking with sympathy but I doubt they all were. The sales girl looked pretty unhappy with me when we left. Oh well.

  5. Pingback: Florida Auger Sea Shell « Seashells by Millhill

  6. centria

    My parents have a place down on Fort Myers Beach and we like to go shelling, especially down at Lovers Key. I will try to remember your site next time we go down there, to better identify our shells.

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