Monday, July 27, 2009

Spirula spirula or Rams Horn

After talking to Dr Alan Beu at work today my ammonite-ish shells are:
Spirula spirula - closely related to cuttlefish (descendants of belemnites for the geologists among us)
"It is the shell of a deep-water pelagic squid called Spirula spirula, which has
this strange little spiral shell inside its body, used as a buoyancy device. They float to the surface when the animal dies, and wash ashore after prolonged on-shore winds, around a lot of the warm-water world. You can always find them along those west coast (NZ) beaches in small numbers, so I suppose the large numbers reflect all the strong winds we have been having. "

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