Rare Sea Shells

In 1997, a curator of the American Museum of Natural History in New York discovered one the museum’s two specimen’s of Chimaeria incomparabilis was missing. The multi-hued mollusks, about 2 1/2 inches long, resemble elongated porcelain eggs. Scientists think they are mostly found in the northwestern Indian Ocean by deepwater fishermen. Only six are known to exist in the entire world.

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Shells As Money

Shell money was once commonly used in many parts of the world. Shell money usually consisted either of whole sea shells or pieces of them, which were often worked into beads or were otherwise artificially shaped. The use of shells in trade began as direct commodity exchange, the shells having value as body ornamentation.

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Seashells; How Many? How Big?

Here are a few interesting facts about the world’s seashells:

How many different kinds of seashells are there?
There are somewhere between 50,000 and 200,000, species of mollusks which have a shell. The exact number depending on who’s counting. These figures are based on the number of species that have been described, which of those are accepted as valid, plus the estimates of undiscovered species remaining on earth.

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