The Amazing Lions Paw Seashell

kitten paw seashells

Did you know that it is possible to find animal paws in the ocean?  That’s right, two different shells are named after the paws of animals. Both are a form of scallop shell.

The first one we will talk about is exceptionally large for a scallop. It has all the right stuff to be a beachcomber’s dream find.  The coveted lion’s paw shell can be up to 6 inches tall, but sadly it is rarely found in really good condition.

The Lion’s Paw seashell (Nodipecten nodosus) has distinct large ridges that make a bumpy fan shape, and the color of the shell is usually dark orange or dull red, but sometimes it will appear purple or a duller pale color.

This big shell in the center is a faded Lions Paw

The kittenspaw seashell is much easier to find and it is pretty small – only an inch or two wide.  I personally have found a few of those (my picture below), but I have never found a Lion’s Paw shell.

kitten paw seashells
Kittens paw seashells

Author: Pam

Spending time on the water is the best, and blogging about the sea life found along the saltwater river and ocean is what I do. I’m also a designer at Zazzle and sell my work, with a lot of ocean themes, on the site.

10 thoughts on “The Amazing Lions Paw Seashell”

  1. So are you digging for them on a beach somewhere? Or do you live in a place where there is excavation? 30 feet is a long way down. That’s interesting because I always wonder how much is buried under all that sand over the years. Six inches is a big shell and I bet they are gorgeous!

  2. The kittens paw my husband and I have found come from underground anywhere from 6to30 feet deep. They are beautiful .At first my husband thought they were ugly , they are so old there is no color left . The large ones are 6 in. And smaller ones start at 1/2 in.

  3. I use books to help me identify seashells. You could probably do the same thing. Since there are so many varieties, just knowing the basics may help you find yours. That is what I try to do with my blog.

  4. Hello, thank you for your insight. I was wondering if you could help me identify some sea shells? Thank you.

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