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.
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.