Pleuroploca gigantea


Pleuroploca gigantea

Taxobox
name = "Horse conch"



image_width = 230px
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Mollusca
classis = Gastropoda
ordo = Sorbeoconcha
familia = Fasciolariidae
genus = "Pleuroploca"
species = "P. gigantea"
binomial = "Pleuroploca gigantea"

"Pleuroploca gigantea", common name the horse conch, is a species of extremely large predatory subtropical and tropical sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Fasciolariidae, the spindle snails, tulip snails and their allies.

This is known as a horse conch, but it is not a true conch, as it is not in the genus Strombus.

This species is the largest snail in the Americas, and one of the largest univalves in the world.

Distribution

This large sea snail is found along the Atlantic coast of the Americas from the U.S. state of North Carolina in the north to Brazil in the south.

Habitat

This species lives on sand and weed from the low intertidal zone to water 20 foot (6 m) deep.

hell description

This species can grow to 24 inches (60 cm). The shell is a bright orange color when it is young.

Life habits

The body can retreat entirely into the shell and remain there for months if unfavorable conditions prevail. The soft parts are bright orange in color.

This predatory species eats other large marine gastropods, including the tulip shell and the lightning whelk.

Human use

Modern times

The U.S. state of Florida declared it the state seashell in 1969.

The shell is popular with shell collectors because of its size.

Archaeological and anthropological uses

In classic Mayan art, the Horse Conch is shown being utilized in many ways including as paint and ink holders for elite scribes and as bugle or trumpet.

In southern Florida, Native Americans, including the Calusa and Tequesta, used the horse conch to make several types of artifact. The whole shell, or more commonly only the columella, was attached to a wooden handle and used as a hammer or woodworking tool. The outer whorl was used as a drinking cup. The columella was also used to make plummets or sinkers.

References

External links

* [http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Pleuroploca_gigantea.html Animal Diversity Web: Pleuroploca gigantea]
* [http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/sflarch/collections.htm Florida Museum of Natural History: South Florida Artifacts]
* [http://www.enature.com/fieldguides/detail.asp?recnum=SS0055]


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