A new whelk in the touch tank

pear whelk This was another of the tidepool treasures we found on Saturday.  After careful consideration, googling, and perusing other web sites, we are pretty sure that this is a small pear whelk.

We know it is not a knobbed whelk, which is the most common whelk on the island, because it lacks the knobs on the shell for which it is known.  We did have some careful consideration about whether this is a channeled whelk, because the shells of those are found on the beach sometimes, but the channels are not clearly delineated in escalating size– so it is technically possible that this one is just too small, but the general consensus of the nature center staff is that it is a pear whelk.

Pear whelks tend to hang out deeper in the substrate than knobbed or lightning whelks, and it would make sense that it had been tossed up in the same storm that brought in the sea cucumbers

IMG_5087and the mystery object from previous posts.  I’m excited– I’ve only found a pear whelk once before, and it was long dead.

Stop by and visit the touch tank– check out this new specimen.

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