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Free images - Animal Homes - Shells 

Note on large files:  Very large files may be bigger than your screen.  
Right click on any portion of the image showing and chose "save as". 

 


 

Some animals "grow" their own homes!  Animals such as snails, crabs, molluscs (also spelled mollusk) and turtles have shells that protect their interior organs and offer protection from predators. Having a shell on the outside of the body is like having an external skeleton - hence the name "exoskeletons".  

Shells are made of mostly calcium carbonate and a small amount of protein.  A fun experiment:  If you place an old shell into white vinegar, the shell will fizz and disappear, proving its composition.

  Did you know... 

that the study of mollusc shells is called "conchology"?

 

brown spirals of snail shell

Snail Shell - 1

The spirally coiled shell of a snail - gastropod. 

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

Large - 3687 x 2766  -  Now only available upon request.

 

As a snail grows, its home grows with it!  New coils are added as the snail grows bigger.  Similar to counting the rings of a tree to determine growth, so too can we count the rings of a snail's shell to determine age.  The development of a snail's shell is the result of a process called torsion.  Species of snails can be distinguished based on the direction they are coiled - right-handed (dextral) versus left-handed (sinistral).  

This is a fascinating topic and you can read more about this at:  The Living World of Molluscs  (Clicking here will take you outside of FreeTiiuPix webpages.)

 

fingers holding snail shell yellow brown

Snail Shell - 3

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five snail shells

Snail Shell - 2

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Queen Conch

The Queen Conch [Strombus gigas] is a large, marine, gastropod mollusc that lives in sand, beds of sea grass and coral reefs found in warm, shallow water.  The images below are of a specimen found in the waters of Barbados.  The mollusc itself is a soft-bodied animal that is protected by a hard, external shell composed of calcium carbonate.  Queen Conchs have a spiral-shaped shell with a glossy pink or orange interior.

A Queen Conch has grown to its full size at about 3-5 years.  It grows to a maximum of about 12 inches and weighs in at 5 pounds.  Its lifespan is generally between 20-30 years, but estimated to be up to 40 years.

  Did you know... 

that the term "gastropod" in Latin means "stomach foot"?

 

queen conch shell mollusk pink orange spiral

Queen Conch - 1

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

Large - 4608 x 3456 -  Now only available upon request.

 

shell of queen conch shiny pink orange

Queen Conch - 2

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Large - 4608 x 3456 -  Now only available upon request.

 

Queen conchs are harvested for meat and their shells.  They are a threatened species used also for jewelry and tourist souvenirs.

interior of queen conch shell pink orange

Queen Conch - 3

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

Large - 4608 x 3456 -  Now only available upon request.

 

two queen conch shells

Queen Conch - 4

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Large - 4608 x 3456 -  Now only available upon request.

 

queen conch shells pink orange

Queen Conch - 5

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Large - 4250 x 3189  -  Now only available upon request.

 

two large queen conch mollusk shells pink orange

Queen Conch - 6

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Large - 4093 x 3070  -  Now only available upon request.

 

Turtles have a strong bone-like shell that is developed from their ribs called the carapace.  The lower portion of the shell is called the plastron.  The two portions of the shell are held together by a hard, bone-like structure called a bridge.  

Have you seen cartoons where a turtle climbs out of its shell?  That is not possible since a turtle's shell actually includes portions of its backbone and ribs and all are firmly attached to one another.

 

 

Carapace shell of painted turtle

Painted Turtle Carapace (Shell) - 1 

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 Plastron bottom shell of painted turtle

Painted Turtle Plastron (Bottom shell) - 1 

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

Large - 4608 x 3456 -  Now only available upon request.

 

 

Bridge side of a painted turtle shell

Painted Turtle shell - 4 - The bridge.

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Hollow shell of a painted turtle.

Painted Turtle shell - 1 Showing front opening where head and legs emerge.

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

Large - 3264 x 2448 -  Now only available upon request.

 

 

Green top of a painted turtle shell

Painted Turtle shell - 2 

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Side view of a painted turtle shell

Painted Turtle shell - 3

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Inside ribs of painted turtle shell

Painted Turtle shell - 5 
Holding the shell upside down, it is possible to view the ridges of ribs and backbone.

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

Large - 3264 x 2448 -  Now only available upon request.

 

 

 Ribs and spine of painted turtle interior shell.

Painted Turtle shell interior - 2

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

Large - 4608 x 3456 -  Now only available upon request.

 

 

Bottom view of painted turtle shell.

Painted Turtle shell interior - 3

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

Large - 4608 x 3456 -  Now only available upon request.

 

 

Interior view of a painted turtle shell.

Painted Turtle shell interior - 4

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Large - 3264 x 2448 -  Now only available upon request.

 

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If you'd like to drop me a note to let me know if any of these images have been useful, I'd love to hear from you. I'm curious to see if my snapshots have been of benefit to you in some way.  Also, I'd like to hear what kind of images you'd like to see more of. 

 

 

 

 

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"Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no  questions, they pass no criticisms." 
~ George Eliot ~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The greatness
of a nation
and its moral progress
can be judged
by the way its
animals are treated." 
~ Mahatma Gandhi ~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I like pigs. 
Dogs look up to us. 
Cats look down on us.  Pigs treat us as equals."
~ Winston Churchill ~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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