Can You Identify These Broken Seashells? Take the Quiz

My seashell collection sits in a big round platter on my coffee table. I like to search through and find my favorites and sometimes I dig down underneath to find a pretty shell I’d forgotten about. The big clams are used to hold the tinier seashells. Often I need to remind myself of a shell’s name.

The broken and old, worn, shells can sometimes be the most difficult to identify. On this page I share some photos of the broken bits to create a fun little game of “identify me”. Not all shells are in my collection. Some could only be mine as photos.

Can you identify the shell names from my pictures here? They are all different, and one is not a shell. The answers are at the bottom of the page. (Some of the photos also link to a page where the shell can be seen.)

# 1

smooth parts of different sharks eye shells
I think this one might be too easy!

# 2

This black shell gave me some trouble until I noticed the unusual way it swirled – hint: to the left.

black seashell
This is a common shell that has turned black

# 3

The crab is a Giant Red Hermit but can you tell what type of shell he is living in? At first I didn’t know, but there is a little clue.

red crab in seashell
Giant Red Hermit crab in a very broken shell

# 4

Partial seashell pieces of the knobbed whelk

# 5

old, worn fighting conch shell

# 6

These pieces did not all come from the same “shell”. It’s actually not a shell at all.

White pieces of sand dollars

# 7

This big worn shell was one I had to give back. A hermit crab was tucked up inside!

large broken whelk shell

# 8

Broken banded tulip seashell

Here Are The Answers, In Case You Need Them!

How well did you do? I’ve linked to other posts showing better images of these beach treasures.

If you thought this was fun, take another Seashell Quiz by searching online. There are quite a few, which are fun and informative.

Starfish, or Sea Stars, Coloring Page Printout

One of the first “seashells” I wrote about on this blog was the starfish. However, it is not a seashell but echinoderm and is related to the sea urchin, sea cucumber and sand dollar. In other words, they don’t have a hard shell. If you find dried starfish, they can break easily.

Where I live in Florida I have never found a starfish, living or dead. But the State Park I visit has specimens of Florida starfish under glass. In fact, near the rest rooms, they have all kinds of dried and dead things. One item looked like the huge head of a sea turtle! I should have taken a photo – maybe next time.

Starfish under glass at Smyrna Dunes Park
Locally found starfish

Starfish live offshore, as do most mollusks with shells. But starfish and other echinoderms are not as sturdy as a hard shell and therefore most likely break apart because of wave action once they are dead. I find pieces of sand dollars near Ponce Inlet and sometimes at the drive-on ocean beach, but I think dead starfish are pulverized before they get to the beach.

Get more info on the 9-legged (or 9-armed) starfish (Luidia senegalensis) at this site which mentions that they are found mainly from the Sebastian Inlet south on the Eastern side of Florida. This is south of where I live. They are also found on the West coast and in the Keys and on down to Brazil.

My Drawings Are Free For Personal Use

Please help yourself to the printable images below and maybe use them as a teaching page / coloring page for the kids. As long as you do not sell my images, use them as you please. Make copies for friends and classroom use. A link back here is appreciated when the chance arises.

I’m no expert on marine life, and certainly not on starfish. The Florida Fish and Wildlife site has a full page, with photos of living creatures and links to each Marine Life Invertebrates including a few starfish. It’s an interesting page.

starfish coloring page
Download and use at home to color
starfish coloring page with 9-legged starfish
Florida starfish

Two Starfish Coloring Page

starfish coloring page
Sea Stars / starfish

Latest Blog Posts

Seashells to Draw or Paint

The internet is a wonderful place to find photos and pictures of subjects to paint or draw. I have taken many photos of seashells and always thought that one day I would make the effort to draw them. Recently a blogger linked to my site because she had used a seashell image to make a drawing. It started me thinking that I need to get going and give it a try.

Some Favorite Seashell Photos

The shells I find while out boating and beach-combing deserted islands are not very pretty. But maybe a more natural, uncleaned look could make for an interesting subject to draw. I don’t paint, but a painter may be interested.

The Horse Conch seashells below are probably among the best shells in my collection. First, because they were too large to contain hermit crabs, so I could bring them home! That doesn’t happen too often when I find a conch or whelk. I’ve seen live horse conchs, which are quite amazing.

Two horse conch seashells
Horse conch seashells: the large one is 17 inches long.

The Knobbed Whelk shell below was one of my favorite shell finds. All I could do was take photos and leave it where I found it, but it was a stunner. Look at that coloring! A very large hermit crab had chosen it as it’s home. This beautiful shell would be fun to do in colored pencil. Getting those shades of gray and tan right would be a challenge. See more photos of this shell at the link provided above.

Pretty, big knobbed whelk seashell in shades of tan and gray
Knobbed whelk shell

The crown conch below was found in shallow water in Mosquito Lagoon and he was attached to a piece of wood. I like the green coloring on his shell. Once seashells are cleaned up and polished, they rarely look the same as they do in the wild.

Live crown conch shell with mollusk inside, holding onto a piece of wood
Living crown conch on a piece of wood

The beautifully colored fighting conch below was another gorgeous shell I would have loved to keep. A painter could create a lovely piece of art using these maroon and orange colors. Unfortunately the photo is not so great, and I apologize. It’s so sunny out on the water that I usually can’t see what I am doing. I take pictures and hope for the best.

Fighting conch found in the wild with live mollusk inside.
Fighting Conch

The long pointed sections of the crown conch below were so amazing to me. Crown conchs are easily identified because of this feature, but it was very pronounced here. This would be fun to draw.

Large crown conch seashell with lots of pointed ridges
Crown conch

You can probably find better photos of all the shells on this page. I don’t clean my shells to the point where they look like museum specimens. And many of my favorite shells are in photographs only because they were either living, or contained living creatures.

The scallop shell below is turning black, which means it was buried for a while. (Read about black seashells here.) Where I live, on the East, central coast of Florida, I rarely see scallop shells on the beach. The few I’ve collected were found on the shores of Ponce Inlet.

Scallop shell with maroon and gray coloring
Scallop shell

For more seashell images, check out sites like Pixabay, where all images are free to download and use for almost any purpose.

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