Have you ever found a shell with a small hole in it and thought, “This thing is ready to be strung and worn as a necklace!”
Well, that bore hole there has a story of it’s own….and most likely a graphic one that ended in mollusk death. The little guy that was growing inside that shell before you found it was eaten by another predator and based on the type of hole, you can narrow it down to whodunit. I won’t go too scientific for you this time around. 🙂
When you see a straight hole, it’s likely done by this guy here (credit to JaxShells.com for the image):
That’s an Oyster Drill.
Holes that have a little bevel to them (like the far left shell two pics down) , those are done by these guys:
That’s called a Thick Lipped Drill.
Snails and gastropods normally bore two ways, near the “edge” of the shell (which is quicker due to it being the thinnest part of the shell) or in the “umbo” (which is the thicker part of the valve).
The snakey hole, as you can see in the brown slipper shell in the first pic, was likely done by a worm called a Polychaete. Using nasty acids, it grates across the top of the shell to get inside. Sponges tend to envelope the shell and using similar acids, eat through the shell across the whole valve. Victims of sponge attacks have little bore holes all across.
Now ya know.
Num Num Num.
We’ll have some REALLY great pics for you next blog post!