I picked this up this little grouping of shells on a Florida beach somewhere. A lot of my nature finds such as shells and pretty stones are used to decorate the dirt in my potted plants.
It’s an unusual looking thing, with lots of ridges and holes. Finding this bit of shell prompted me to learn more about the creatures who made it.
Worm shells are made by snails, not worms, and are given the name only because their coiled shells resemble worms. This group is called a variable worm shell and lives attached to rocks or other shells in colonies. When they are living, the color is brown to purplish brown, but once the cluster is washed up on shore, the sun bleaches it.
My piece is small, only about 2.5 inches long, but large specimens, measuring 2 feet across, have been found living off the western Florida coast.